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British Industrial History

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William Thorburn

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William Thorburn (1860-1902)


1902 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM THORBURN was born in Durham on 4th October 1860.

Having been educated at the Liverpool Institute High School, he served his apprenticeship at the Ditton Brook Iron Works from 1877 to 1881, and was then appointed assistant engineer to the Decido Iron Ore Co., Spain.

There his work consisted in the opening up of mines and the construction of a chain railway. After three years spent in England on private business, he returned to Spain in 1887, and two years later was appointed resident engineer to the San Salvador Iron Ore Co., superintending the erection of ore-washing plant and the construction of a chain railway.

On the completion of the works in 1891, he was engaged by Mr. Joseph MacLennan as resident engineer on his works near Santander, which consisted of a mining railway, large iron-ore working plant, &c. He remained in this position until the works were transferred to a company in 1896, when he was appointed engineer to the Luchana Mining Co., at Bilbao; in 1900 he became general manager.

This position he held up to the time of his death, which took place at Liscard, Cheshire, on 22nd August 1902, in his forty-second year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1899.


1902 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM THORBURN, who died on August 22, 1902, was general manager of the Luchana Mining Company. He was born in Durham in 1860, and after completing his technical training as an engineer he proceeded to Spain, where he had received an appointment as assistant engineer to Mr. Lee, who was engaged in constructing a chain railway and in opening up the mines at Dicido.

A few years later he went to Santander to construct another chain railway, and was afterwards engaged by Mr. Joseph MacLennan to erect washing machinery on a large scale. Subsequently he received the important appointment of general manager to the Luchana Mining Company, but unfortunately his career was early terminated by a fatal illness which lasted for six months.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1897.


1903 Obituary [3]

. . . . he was appointed Assistant Engineer to the Dicido Iron-Ore Company in Spain, the works consisting of opening up mines and the construction of a chain tramway.

In May, 1889, he was appointed Resident Engineer to the San Salvador Iron-Ore Company at Santander, on the construction of a chain tramway and erection of iron-ore washing plant.

On the completion of those works in 1891, he was engaged by Joseph MacLennan to superintend the construction of a mining railway, the erection of large iron-ore washing plant and of an iron girder loading-quay at Astillero, near Santander.

He was occupied thus until 1896, when he was appointed Engineer to the Luchans Mining Company, Limited, of Bilbzo, which position he held for six years. . . . . [more]



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