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British Industrial History

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Sydney Smith (d.1948)

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Sydney Smith (c1883-1948)

1949 Obituary [1]

"SYDNEY SMITH, whose death occurred at Orpington, Kent, on 30th May 1948, at the age of sixty-five, was the managing director of the Wellman, Smith, Owen Engineering Corporation, Westminster. He was educated at St. George's School, Harpenden, and served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Robey and Company, Ltd., of Lincoln, from 1898 to 1905, meanwhile attending classes in the engineering course at Lincoln Technical College. On the completion of his apprenticeship he remained with Messrs. Robey as a junior draughtsman for another year and then entered the drawing office in the crane department of Messrs. Babcock and Wilcox, Ltd., London.

After acting for some two years as leading draughtsman and outside erector to Messrs. Wellman, Seaver and Head, Ltd., London, he went to Canada to take up the appointment of assistant engineer to the Jeffrey Manufacturing Co, of Montreal. In 1912 he became assistant contractor's engineer to Messrs. Mussens, Ltd., of the same city, and a year later joined the Jenckes Machine Co, Sherbrooke, Province of Quebec, as chief engineer. He relinquished this position in 1914 and returned to this country to become engineer to the Whitehead Iron and Steel Company, Ltd., for whom he carried out some extensions to the works. Subsequently he was appointed engineer-in-charge of the Briton Ferry Steel Works, Glamorganshire, with responsibility for their upkeep and the maintenance of the output.

In 1922 he joined the staff of the Wellman Smith Owen Corporation and was, at first, placed in charge of the pulverized-fuel section. Subsequently he became manager of the department responsible for the design and manufacture of seamless steel-tube machinery. He also took a leading part in the development and perfection of the push-bench process, in which work he collaborated with engineers on the staff of Messrs. Stewarts and Lloyds, Ltd. After serving for some years as works manager of the Corporation, in London and at Darlaston, South Staffordshire, he was elected to the board, and little more than a year before his death succeeded his brother, the late Mr. James Foster-Smith as managing director. Mr. Sydney Smith had been a Member of the Institution since 1919."

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