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British Industrial History

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William McLaren

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William McLaren (1855-1924)

1924 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM MCLAREN was born at Govan on the Clyde, on 16th April 1855, and was educated at the Stirling High School and at the Highlanders' Academy, Greenock, followed during his apprenticeship by studies at the Greenock Technical School.

He served his time in the shops and drawing office of Messrs. Caird and Co., the well-known Clyde shipbuilders, and after leaving he spent some twelve years at sea, part of his service being in the "Arizona," at that time regarded as the "greyhound" of the Atlantic.

When Mr. McLaren gained his first-class Board of Trade certificate in 1880, he was the youngest chief engineer in the country to possess that honour. He sailed eight years as chief engineer, and then after filling for four years the position of superintendent engineer with Messrs. H. and W. Nelson, Liverpool, he spent thirteen years with Messrs. R. P. Houston and Co., of that city, during the tenure of which engagements he superintended the building of about thirty steamers ranging from 5,000 tons to 8,200 tons.

In 1905 he was appointed Managing Director in the Company - John Blackwood, Ltd., shipbuilders and engineers, Barbados - and this position he held to the time of his death, which occurred at Rock Ferry, Birkenhead, on 10th September 1924, at the age of sixty-nine.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1910 and was also a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects.

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