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William James Guthrie

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William James Guthrie (1876-1940), director of William Denny and Brothers


1940 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM JAMES GUTHRIE was responsible for the design of a direct vision torsionmeter, known as the "Microptic" marine torsionmeter, and a spring thrust meter in which the deflexion of the spring is read by means of a microscope.

He was born at Troon, Ayrshire, in 1876, and received his general education at the Troon Academy and the Ayr Academy. He served his apprenticeship from 1891 to 1897 in the shops of Messrs. Muir and Houston, Ltd., marine engineers, of Glasgow. In 1897 he was appointed chief draughtsman to Messrs. Whyte and Blair of Dundee and in the following year he joined the staff of the Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Company, Ltd., Wallsend on Tyne. He served this firm for eleven years as a senior draughtsman, in which capacity he worked on the design of the machinery for the Mauretania.

From 1909 until 1914 he was employed by Scott's Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, of Greenock, as a draughtsman, with responsibility for marine turbine work, including the turbines for HMS Colossus. He joined Messrs. Richardsons, Westgarth and Company, Ltd., of Hartlepool in 1914, as manager of the turbine department and in 1924 was appointed assistant general manager of this firm, becoming general manager in 1927. He was responsible for the manufacture and putting into commission of a variety of turbines for land installations, destroyers, patrol boats, and merchant vessels. In 1929 he became assistant general manager of the Engineering Department of Messrs. William Denny and Brothers, Ltd., of Dumbarton, and was appointed general manager of the Engineering Department and a director of this company in 1932. He retired in 1939 on account of ill health, and died at his home at Helensburgh on 24th January 1940.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1924.


1940 Obituary [2]

William James Guthrie died at his home in Helensburgh on January 25, 1940, at the age of 63.

Mr. Guthrie was born at Troon in 1876 and, after serving his apprenticeship with Muir and Houston in Glasgow, he entered the drawing office of Mair and White, Dundee.

In 1899 he joined the staff of the Wallsend Slipway, where he was employed as a senior draughtsman on the design and details of the machinery of R.M.S. "Mauretania.".

From here he went to Messrs. Scotts of Greenock, where he worked in the drawing office on the turbines of H.M.S. "Colossus," the first dreadnought to be built on the Clyde.

In 1914 Mr. Guthrie went to Hartlepool as manager of the turbine department of Messrs. Richardsons Westgarth and Company, Ltd. He was appointed assistant general manager in 1924 and became general manager in 1927.

After two more years he went as assistant general manager to Messrs. William Denny and Brothers, Ltd., Engine Works, Dumbarton, and was appointed general manager and a director of the company in 1932. Here he remained until his retirement, on account of ill health, in May 1939.

Mr. Guthrie was elected a member of the Institute of Metals in 1925.


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