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British Industrial History

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Howard Frederick Smith

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Howard Frederick Smith (c1883-1938)

1938 Obituary [1]

HOWARD FREDERICK SMITH was chairman and managing director of Messrs. Smith and Davis, Ltd., brassfounders, of Birmingham. He joined the firm on its inception in 1901, after completing his education at King Edward's High School, Birmingham, and after about six years' practical training he was made under-manager of the manufacturing side of the business.

In 1910 he became works manager. During 1915-18 he reorganized and extended the works, introducing new planning and progress departments, and building a new tool room and tool stores, so that in four years the output of the factory was more than quadrupled. He founded in 1914 a periodical devoted to the hardware and engineering industries, and for several years was its editor. He also contributed articles to a number of trade and technical journals, and he devised a scheme for the organization and syndication of the brass industry into combines.

In 1919 he was chosen by the Department of Overseas Trade, as a member of a mission sent to report on the German factories in the occupied Rhineland area. He was keenly interested in motoring, and as an amateur he rode in some of the earliest Tourist Trophy races in the Isle of Man. His position as chairman and managing director of Messrs. Smith and Davis dated from 1932. Mr. Smith, who was a native of Birmingham, died at Moseley on 26th May 1938, in his fifty-fifth year.

He was elected to Associate Membership of the Institution in 1920.

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