Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Robert Appleby Bartram

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Robert Appleby Bartram son of George Bartram and co-partner to the family business of Bartram and Sons.


1925 Obituary

It is with regret that we learn of the death of Sir Robert Appleby Bartram, the head of the Sunderland firm of shipbuilders, Bartram and Sons, Ltd. At the time of his death Sir Robert was in his ninety-first. year, and was one of the four surviving shipbuilders who have followed the progress of shipbuilding as it passed from wood to iron and from iron to the steel ship of today. At an early age he began his career as a shipbuilder on the Wear with his father, who was well-known as one of the oldest wood shipbuilders on that river. The business was continued up to the year 1870, when the building of wood ships began to fall off. The year following he founded the present firm of Bartram and Sons, Ltd., and began to undertake the construction of iron ships, which at a later date were followed by steel vessels. The firm's yard is not a large one, having only two berths with a capacity for vessels up to some 430ft. in length; but several noteworthy ships have been built in the course of the firm's business career. During his long association with Sunderland, Sir Robert took a deep interest in local industrial and commercial affairs. From 1901 to 1908 he was the chairman of the Wear Shipbuilders Association, and he presided over the Sunderland Chamber of Commerce for nearly ten years. He was keenly interested in technical education and founded four scholarships, as well as a department of naval architecture at the, Sunderland Technical College.[1]



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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1925/08/14