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Thomas Harris Spencer

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Sir Thomas Harris Spencer (1863-1934) of John Spencer and a director of J. E. and S. Spencer and Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co

1934 Obituary [1]

Sir THOMAS HARRIS SPENCER, K.B.E., had been for nearly forty years connected with the firm of Messrs. John Spencer, of the Globe Tube Works, Wednesbury. In addition, he was a director of a large number of engineering companies, chiefly in the Midlands, and was a vice-president of the Federation of British Industries.

He was born at Greets Green, West Bromwich, in 1863, and became a pupil of Messrs. T. Piggott and Company, Birmingham, in 1879. In 1884 he was made a draughtsman and later rose to be manager, in which capacity he was responsible for the erection of gas holders, tanks, and general structural ironwork.

He became in 1895 a partner in Messrs. Spencer's, the Wednesbury firm founded by his uncle, Mr. John Spencer, M.I.Mech.E., and was later appointed managing director. Shortly before the War he was also made a director of the London branch of the firm.

In addition he was chairman of Messrs. J. Brockhouse and Company, West Bromwich, and of Messrs. Steel Nut and Joseph Hampton of Wednesbury, and was also a director of the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company, and of Messrs. George Salter and Company.

In 1913 he was elected president of the Midland Employers' Federation, which afterwards became the Birmingham and District Engineering and Allied Employers' Federation, when he again served in the capacity of president.

During the War he directed his efforts towards the increase of shell production in the West Midlands and in 1916 served on the Midlands Area Munitions Committee. He organized the National Shell Factory at Washwood Heath, utilizing the works of the Midland Carriage and Wagon Company for the purpose, and acted as chairman of the board of management. For his services he was awarded the K.B.E. in 1918.

His death occurred in Birmingham on 30th April 1934.

He had been a member of the Institution since 1897.

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