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British Industrial History

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James C. Brooks

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James C. Brooks ( -1911), partner in William Sellers and Co


1911 Obituary [1]

JAMES C. BROOKS, whose death occurred at Philadelphia on July 18, 1911, was born in New Albany, Indiana, in 1843. At the outbreak of the Civil War be entered the Union Army, and served with distinction, attaining the rank of major. After the close of the war Major Brooks entered mercantile life, and eventually became associated with the firm of William Sellers & Company, of Philadelphia, machine tool manufacturers. Later he became a partner in the firm.

In the year 1887 he was invited to become President of the Southwark Foundry and Machine Company, of Philadelphia, builders of engines and other heavy machinery, which position he held until the time of his death. Under his guidance the firm prospered greatly.

The plant was enlarged, and the business grew to such proportions that, in the course of the next five years, after his acceptance of the office of President, its capacity was more than doubled, and its name and reputation became widely known, not only in the United States, but in Great Britain and the Continent of Europe.

Major Brooks had studied with much care the early development of the iron and steel industry, and through his persistent efforts the Southwark Company designed an improved type of blast-furnace blowing-engine that has been used with great success in all countries where an iron industry is carried on. He was a director in several banking institutions in Philadelphia, and was also interested in the development of trade schools, being associated with two prominent institutes devoted to this work. He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1904, the year of the visit of the Institute to America, on which occasion he was a member of the Philadelphia Reception Committee


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