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John Roper Wright

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Colonel Sir John Roper Wright (1843-1926) of Wright, Butler and Co and Baldwins


1926 Obituary [1]

Col Sir JOHN ROPER WRIGHT, Bart., was associated with South Wales for most of his life, but was born in Lancashire in 1843 and was a premium pupil at the Soho Engineering Works, Preston.

In 1865 he became associated with the Siemens furnaces at Sheffield, then in their infancy, and afterwards went to Birmingham, where, under the direction of the late Dr. Siemens, he constructed the furnace which cast the first ingot made by the Siemens-Martin process.

After some years in control of steel-melting furnaces he left for Glasgow, but soon returned to Landore, where he took charge of the steel production of the old Landore Siemens Steel Co., under the direction of Dr. Siemens.

He subsequently became a director of the Panteg Steel Co.

Retiring from the directorate of that undertaking, he associated himself with Mr. Butler and Mr. Roger Beck in the firm of Wright, Butler and Co. and established the Elba Steel Works at Gowerton. The firm acquired the Panteg Works and the smelting plant of the old Landore Works, but were later absorbed by Baldwins, Ltd.

On the death of the late Mr. Baldwin, however, Sir John was elected Chairman of this great undertaking, and the head offices of of the firm were removed from Birmingham to Swansea.

Considerable developments were made, notably the erection of steel and tinplate works at Swansea. During the War Sir John rendered valuable services to the Ministry of Munitions, in recognition of which he was created a baronet in 1920. He died on 25th July 1926, at Widcombe Manor, Bath.

Sir John became a Graduate of this Institution in 1867 and a Member in 1873 and was the first Chairman of the South Wales Branch upon its formation in 1921.


1926 Obituary [2]

Sir JOHN ROPER WRIGHT, Bart., died on July 25, 1926, at Widcombe Manor, near Bath, at the age of eighty-three.

He was born in 1843 in Lancashire, and began his professional life as a premium pupil at the Soho Engineering Works, Preston. In 1865 he proceeded to Sheffield, where he became associated with the development of the Siemens furnace.

Afterwards he went to Birmingham, where, under the direction of the late Sir William Siemens, he constructed the furnace which cast the first ingot made by the Siemens-Martin process.

In 1867 Sir John Wright went to South Wales, and took over the management of the steel furnaces of the late Landore Siemens Steel Co.

After a few years he left for Glasgow, but soon returned to Landore, and subsequently, in association with others, he joined the Panteg Steel Co.

He shortly afterwards retired from that undertaking, and with Mr. Butler formed the firm of Wright, Butler & Co. They established the Elba Steelworks at Gowerton, and later acquired the Panteg Works, as well as the blast-furnaces and steel-melting plant of the old Landore Works and the Cwmavon Works. The firm of Wright, Butler & Co. was later absorbed by Baldwins, Ltd., Sir John Wright and his partners having seats on the Board. In 1920 he was created a baronet.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1873.


1926 Obituary [3]



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