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British Industrial History

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William McBride

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William McBride (1860-1941)

1942 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM MCBRIDE was born near Glasgow in 1860, but his family migrated to Cork when he was still at an early age, and he served his apprenticeship with Messrs. McKenzie and Sons of the Ceres Works, Cork. Coming to England in 1879, he served a further period of apprenticeship for two years with Messrs. Earle and Company, Ltd., shipbuilders and engineers, of Hull, after which he joined Messrs. Thomas Wilson, Sons, and Company, shipowners, of Hull, and served at sea for about two years as junior engineer.

He subsequently entered the service of Messrs. Henry Briggs, Sons, and Company, Ltd., of Hull, and again went to sea, and sailed as second engineer; he gained rapid promotion and obtained his Board of Trade chief engineer's certificate at the age of twenty-four, after which he continued to sail as chief engineer for a further four years in that firm's ships. In 1889 he began his long connection with Messrs. Otto Trechmann and Company, cement manufacturers, which lasted for forty years, first as engineer at the Warren Cement Works, and later as works manager. On the acquisition of the works by a newly formed management, Warren Cement Works, Ltd., Mr. McBride was appointed managing director and held that office until about 1932.

He remained a member of the board of directors, however, and continued to take an active interest in the affairs of the Works until failing health led in 1939 to his retirement in his seventy-ninth year. During his service with the Warren Cement Works the method of manufacture of cement underwent revolutionary changes, and he was himself responsible for many improvements. It is noteworthy, as showing his readiness to adopt new ideas, that he was one of the first engineers in this country to install a Diesel engine, and the trials of this engine were conducted by Dr. Diesel himself at Augsburg. As managing director, Mr. McBride also examined the possibility of sinking an anhydrite mine on the property of his company, a scheme which successfully matured, resulting eventually in a large weekly output.

Mr. McBride, whose death occurred on 26th November 1941, had been a Member of the Institution since 1905.

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