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British Industrial History

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Vernon Smith

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Vernon Smith (1885-1947)

1948 Obituary [1]

"VERNON SMITH was associated with the firm of Messrs. John Thompson, Ltd., boilermakers and engineers of Wolverhampton, during practically the whole of his professional career, and at the time of his death, in 1947, had been the managing director of its ancillary at Melbourne, Messrs. John Thompson (Australia) Pty., Ltd., for twenty-five years.

He was born in 1885 and received his education at Wednesbury and West Bromwich Technical Schools, obtaining the diplomas and special awards, and in addition, the technical diploma of the City and Guilds of London College. After serving for brief periods as apprentice to various engineering firms in Wednesbury and Wolverhampton, he was articled in 1901 to Messrs. John Thompson and gained experience in the works and drawing office. On the conclusion of his articles five years later he was appointed chief draughtsman.

From 1908 to 1911 he was with Messrs. Babcock and Wilcox, Ltd., for whom he was engaged as a draughtsman in the technical department. He then resumed his connection with Messrs. John Thompson with a varied responsibility, including the design of steam plant, tests, and costings, in addition to supervision of the technical and commercial side of the business. After holding this position for eleven years he went to Melbourne, in 1922, to take up his final appointment. Mr. Smith had several patents and inventions to his credit and was also sometime lecturer in applied mechanics, mathematics, and machine drawing. He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1928."

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