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William Robert Davies

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William Robert Davies (1872-1935), director of Melingriffith Tinplate Co

1936 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM ROBERT DAVIES was an authority on sheet metal manufacture.

He was born at Lydbrook, Glos, in 1872, and was apprenticed to Messrs. Richard Thomas and Company, Ltd., in that town.

In 1895 he was made a departmental superintendent at Aberdare tinplate works. He was appointed assistant to the works manager at Cwmfelin Works in 1896 and in 1902 he became assistant works manager at Melingriffith Tin-plate Works, Whitchurch, near Cardiff. He was promoted to be works manager five years later, and in 1920 he was made works director. Subsequently he became joint managing director, in partnership with Mr. H. Spence Thomas, M.I.Mech.E.

He retired after the acquisition of the business by his former company, Messrs. Richard Thomas, in 1934.

Mr. Davies was the inventor of the Thomas and Davies automatic feeding, pickling, swilling, tinning, and finishing machine for tinplate manufacture. The machine reduced the labour required in production to 20 per cent of that of the former method, reduced the consumption of tin, and improved the appearance of the product. He also invented doubling, shearing, and other machines in connexion with the tin-plate industry, and he devised a water turbine to develop 450 h.p. at a head of 16 feet.

Mr. Davies was chairman of the Joint Industrial Council and of the joint standing committee of the Tin-plate Association, also vice-chairman of the Welsh Plate and Sheet Manufacturers' Association. In addition he was a director of the Wolverhampton Steel and Iron Company, Ltd.

His death occurred at Whitchurch on 15th May 1935.

He was elected to Membership of the Institution in 1928.

1935 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM ROBERT DAVIES, of St. Petroc, Park Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff, died on May 15, 1935, at the age of sixty-three.

Born at Lydbrook, Forest of Dean, in 1872, he received his early training with Messrs. Richard Thomas & Co., Ltd., and his first official appointment was at the Aberdare Tinplate Works in 1895.

In 1902 he became assistant works manager of the Melingriffith Company, of Cardiff, and five years later was appointed general works manager; he became a Director of the company in 1920, and later Joint Managing Director with Mr. H. Spence Thomas, from which position he retired in June 1934, when the works were acquired by Messrs. Richard Thomas & Co., Ltd.

Mr. Davies was technical partner in the development of the Thomas and Davies machines, &c., owned and run by the company. These devices included the combined automatic feeding, pickling and tinning machine known as the "Melingriffith pot," as well as doubling, shearing and other machines. Mr. Davies was, until he retired, Vice-Chairman of the Welsh Plate and Sheet Manufacturers' Association and. Chairman of the Joint Industrial Council and the Joint Standing Committee Wages Board.

He was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the South Wales Institute of Engineers; he joined the Iron and Steel Institute in 1908.

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