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Thomas Nield Robinson (1853-1909) of Thomas Robinson and Son
1909 Obituary 
THOMAS NIELD ROBINSON was born at Rochdale on 9th August 1853.
He was educated at Clifton College and at Owens College, Manchester. At the latter he passed through the Junior and Senior engineering courses, obtaining a first certificate in the former and a second in the latter. This theoretical training was concurrent with a practical course in the workshops and drawing-office of the firm of which he was later destined to become Chairman of the Board of Directors, namely, Messrs. Thomas Robinson and Son, woodworking engineers, of Rochdale.
Subsequently he continued his studies in France, Italy, and Austria, at the same time superintending the execution of a number of large contracts for wood-working plants which the firm were at the time engaged in, in the countries named. This experience was followed by visits to the timber-producing regions of Canada and the United States, and upon his return to take his seat on the Board of Directors, the knowledge thus gained proved of considerable value in the direction of that portion of the business — the manufacture of wood-working machinery — in which he had from the commencement specialized.
In 1892 he was elected Chairman of the Company. He was specially interested in the question of technical education, and fully recognized the importance of this branch of educational work. As a result largely of his interest in this direction the firm have greatly assisted higher education in the town of Rochdale by the granting of scholarships, and by special facilities and strong encouragement extended to the many apprentices who have passed and are passing through their works.
He has been responsible for a large number of inventions in the department of mechanical wood-working, many of them being of a highly important character and ranging over a period of over thirty years.
To this Institution he contributed a Paper on "Wood-Working Machinery" which was of such value that it was afterwards reprinted and had a large circulation, and for a long time was looked upon as the standard work on the subject. He was created a Justice of the Peace for the County Palatine in 1902.
His death took place at his residence at Pannal, near Harrogate, on 17th June 1909, in his fifty-sixth year.
He became a Member of this Institution in 1878; and he was also a Member of the Iron and Steel Institute.
1909 Obituary 
. . . chairman of directors of the firm of Thomas Robinson and Son, Rochdale. Mr. Robinson was in his fifty-sixth year . . . He was the third son of the late Alderman Robinson, of Rochdale, and grandson of Mr. Thomas Robinson, the originator of the well-known firm . . . [more]
1909 Obituary 
THOMAS NIELD ROBINSON died at his residence near Harrogate, on Thursday, June 17, 1909. He was 56 years of age, and was the third son of the late Alderman John Robinson, J.P., of Mount Falinge, Rochdale, and grandson of Mr. Thomas Robinson, the founder of the firm of Thomas Robinson & Son, Rochdale.
He was educated at the Rochdale Grammar School, at Clifton College, and at Owens College, Manchester. He subsequently entered the workshops of his father's firm, and passed as an ordinary apprentice through the fitting shops, foundry, and drawing-office.
On the death of Mr. John Robinson in 1877 the firm was converted into a limited company, with his eldest brother, Mr. James Salkeld Robinson, at its head. On his brother's death in 1892 a new company was formed, and of this company he became chairman, in which position he continued till his death. For nearly a year, however, his health was such as to preclude him from any active participation in the business, although he was present at the Board meetings until two or three weeks before his death.
He was especially interested in the question of technical education, and recognised fully the importance of this branch of educational work. As a result largely of his interest in this direction, the firm have greatly assisted higher education in Rochdale, where the works are situated, by the granting of scholarships, and by special facilities and strong encouragement extended to the many apprentices who have passed and are passing through the Railway Works.
He was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1879.