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British Industrial History

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Philip Jenkins

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Philip Jenkins (1854-1891), Professor of Naval Architecture at Glasgow University.

1891 Died 13th June at Llawrenny, Kelvinside. [1]

1891 Obituary [2]

1891 Obituary [3]

By the death of Professor Philip Jenkins, at the early age of thirty-seven years, a promising career has been cut short and the science of naval architecture has been deprived of one of its most capable exponents. We might almost say indeed that thus far he had been gathering knowledge and becoming cognisant of all the problems associated with the science, and now when he had reached the stage when his ripe experience could be turned to advantage to his profession, death claims him.

Born in 1854 at Dale, in Pembrokeshire, it was almost natural that he should gravitate towards the dockyard at Pembroke, and there he served his time as a shipwright.

Entering in 1873 the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, he, like many of our promising marine constructors, acquired from the present Director of Naval Construction, that thorough knowledge of the theory of modern naval architecture, for which he in recent years became so distinguished. During his three years' course he took high honours.

From the college he went to the Portsmouth Dockyard, where he held a position of responsibility, but only for a short time, as his desire for experience induced him to become an assistant to Froude at the experimental tank at Torquay. From thence he passed to Whitehall, entering the office of the Director of Naval Construction, where he got an insight into the methods adopted in the designing of warships.

For close upon twenty years he had been a student, as in his various situations he contrived to glean the maximum of knowledge, and in 1880 the committee of Lloyd's Registry invited him to join their staff as assistant to Mr. Martell. The preferment was as judicious on the part of the committee as it was deserved by Mr. Jenkins. Lloyd's Registry was then being severely criticised by the younger naval architects, who wished it to move with the rapid progress in marine construction, and the committee recognising that the criticism was not to be despised sought to strengthen their professional staff by such a one as Mr. Jenkins, who was well fitted, not so much to defend the registry, as to reform the rules to suit improve...[more]

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