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British Industrial History

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John Henry Beckwith

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John Henry Beckwith (1839-1898)

of Manager, W. and J. Galloway and Sons, Knott Mill Iron Works, Manchester.


1898 Obituary [1]

JOHN HENRY BECKWITH was born in Leeds on 19th January 1839, being the son of Mr. John Beckwith, who was for many years clerk to the poor-law guardians of Leeds.

At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to Messrs. Carrett, Marshall, and Co., Sun Foundry, Leeds.

In 1864 he was engaged as draughtsman by Messrs. W. and J. Galloway and Sons, Knott Mill Iron Works, Manchester.

In 1866 he went to Buenos Ayres to fulfil an engagement with Messrs. Thomas Allen and Co.

Returning to England in February 1867 he again entered the employ of Messrs. Galloway as their chief draughtsman; in 1877 he became their chief designing engineer; and on the conversion of the firm into a company in 1888 be was made a managing director.

This position he resigned in 1897, but retained a seat on the board.

Besides being a sound mechanic, an able organizer, and a master of detail, he had acquired an extensive practical experience which enabled him to see the merits or demerits of any piece of engineering work. He introduced many improvements in steam engines, boilers, pumps, reversing gear for rolling mills, illuminated fountains, and other things.

His death took place at his residence, Southport, on 2nd June 1898, at the age of fifty-nine.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1875.


1898 Obituary [2]

JOHN HENRY BECKWITH died at his residence, 48 Scarisbrick Road, Southport, on June 2, 1898, at the age of fifty-nine. He was the son of John Beckwith, for many years Clerk to the Poor Law Guardians of Leeds.

At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to Messrs. Carrett, Marshall. & Co., Sun Foundry, Leeds.

In 1864 he engaged with Messrs. W. & J. Galloway & Sons, as draughtsman, subsequently leaving that firm to fulfil an engagement at Buenos Ayres with Messrs. Thos. Allen & Co. On returning to England in February 1867 he again entered the service of Messrs. W. J. Galloway & Sons, as chief draughtsman. On the firm being formed into a private Limited Company in 1888 he was made a managing director.

In 1897 he resigned his managing directorship, but retained a seat on the Board until the time of his death. He was a sound mechanic; a great organiser; and pre-eminently a master of detail, who left the mark of his individuality on all his work. He was possessed of a clear intuitive perception which, coupled with extensive practical knowledge, enabled him to see the merits or demerits of any particular piece of engineering work. He was the patentee of many improvements in steam-engines, boilers, pumps, reversing gears for rolling-mills, and illuminated fountains.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1882.


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