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British Industrial History

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John Varley

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John Varley (1828-1892)


1892 Obituary [1]

JOHN VARLEY was born in Leeds on 7th August 1828.

At the age of fourteen he entered the works of Messrs. Maclea and March, Union Foundry, Holbeck, and rose to be assistant manager.

On leaving them he acted as traveller for Messrs. J. Whitham and Sons, Perseverance Iron Works, Leeds, for three years; at the expiration of which he went to a firm in London as a draughtsman and engineer, and afterwards was engaged by Messrs. Charles Cammell and Co., Sheffield, for whom ho acted for many years as their chief representative.

He was next associated with the Farnley Iron Co., near Leeds, for twelve years, until mild steel superseded Yorkshire iron; from there he went to the Leeds Forge Co., Armley, where he was for upwards of ten years.

His death took place in Liverpool on 17th November 1892, of syncope, at the ago of sixty-four.

He became an Associate of this Institution in 1869.


1892 Obituary [2]

JOHN VARLEY, of the Leeds Forge Company, Leeds, was born in that town on the 7th August 1828, and died at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, from syncope, on the 17th November 1892.

Mr. Varley commenced business, when fourteen years of age, at the works of Messrs. Maclay & Maish, of Holbeck, Leeds. He soon rose to be assistant-manager of the works, and from there he proceeded to the Clarence Iron Works of Messrs. J. Whitham & Sons, of Leeds, whom he represented for three years, or thereabouts. Leaving Clarence Works, when about thirty years of age, he became manager and chief draughtsman for the London firm of Hepworth & Sons, whence he transferred his services to Messrs. C. Cammell & Company, of Sheffield. He ultimately became connected with the Farnley Iron Company. At that time there was not much talk of mild steel superseding the old Yorkshire iron, but the change came about sooner than was expected, and Mr. Varley having removed from the old Farnley Iron Works to the Leeds Forge, had to face there the problem of producing steel on the open hearth. He did this with notable success, and he had gone on a business visit to Liverpool, in connection with the Leeds Forge, when he died. He was a member of. the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, of the North-East Coast Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders, and of the Iron and Steel Institute, which he joined in 1886. He was also an associate of the Institution of Naval Architects.


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