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British Industrial History

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James Thomas Clarke

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James Thomas Clarke (c1870-1949)

1950 Obituary [1]

"JAMES THOMAS CLARKE was closely concerned as an engineer with fire-fighting appliances during most of his career and had held the responsible position of mechanical engineer and expert to the Fire Offices Committee from 1908 until his retirement from active life in 1934.

He was educated at Elmfield College, York, and served his apprenticeship (which extended to nine years, from 1886 to 1895) first with Messrs. Dowson and Taylor, Bolton, fire engineers, then with Messrs. J. H. Pickup and Company, Ltd., Bury, engineers, and finally with Messrs. Mather and Platt, Manchester, engineers.

In 1895 he became consulting engineer to the Atlas Fire Insurance Co, the duties of this appointment taking him to all parts of the British Isles. This position he retained until he entered upon his final office in 1908. In this capacity he was responsible for investigations into, and drawing up reports upon, public and other water supplies in addition to testing automatic sprinklers and other fire-fighting appliances. He personally investigated the causes of disastrous fires in a number of continental countries, and in Egypt, with a view to the institution of future preventive precautions. Mr. Clarke, whose death in his seventy-ninth year occurred on 14th October 1949, was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1909, and was transferred to Membership seven years later."

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