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British Industrial History

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Thomas Richardson (d.1891)

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Thomas Richardson (d.1891)

1891 Obituary [1]

THOMAS RICHARDSON, head of the well-known marine engineering works at West Hartlepool, was the son of a wood contractor under the Earl of Durham, who, at a later date, became a shipbuilder at the Hartlepools. To this business that of marine engineering was added in 1838, and his son Thomas was placed in the new works at the age of seventeen. At the time of his father's decease in 1850, Thomas Richardson became the head of the engineering works, and has since largely developed their productive capacity. The first marine engine constructed at these works was built in 1851, but for a number of years previously they had been occupied with the building of locomotive and land engines. The Hartlepool Works have been distinguished in the history of triple expansion engines, having adopted that system at an early date, and applied it within recent years on a large scale.

During the year preceding the decease of Mr. Thomas Richardson, the works of which he was the head produced as many as thirty-three sets of triple expansion engines and boilers, of 45,000 h.-p., as well as 132 crank and propeller shafts. This is one of the largest, if not quite the largest, marine engine h.-p. produced by a single establishment in the United Kingdom, and it may be taken as an evidence of the enterprise of the firm, and of its success.

Mr. Richardson was elected to represent the Hartlepools in Parliament in 1874. Since then he has been returned for the same constituency four several times, and has sat altogether for eleven years as Member for that important borough. In politics he was a Liberal. He took an active interest' for many years in local affairs, and acted as one of the Port and Harbour Commissioners.

In 1843 he married a Sunderland lady, by whom he has a family of four sons and two daughters. He was a member of the Institution of Naval Architects, and was one of the original members of the Iron and Steel Institute.

1891 Obituary [2]

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