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British Industrial History

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William Seymour Hide

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William Seymour Hide (1861-1932)

1932 Obituary[1]


The death of Mr. William Seymour Hide, which occurred on October 30, at his home in Ferriby, East Yorks, removes a well-known figure from Hull marine engineering and shipbuilding circles. Mr. Hide, who was managing director of Messrs. Earle’s Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Limited, Hull, and of Messrs. Amos and Smith, Limited, Albert Dock Works, Hull, was born on June 13, 1861. From 1878 to 1881 he served a pupilage of three years in the engineering shops, at Battersea, of the London Steamboat Company. The succeeding three years were spent in further training in the drawing office of Mr. T. C. Hide, M.I.Mech.E., A.I.N.A. In January, 1883, he entered the service of the British India Steam Navigation Company and served on several of the Company’s ships. Having gained an extra first-class Board of Trade Certificate, the young engineer left the sea and re-entered the office of the Mr. T. C. Hide in June, 1886. He remained with Mr. Hide for about 18 months, during which time he inspected steamers under construction, and was engaged on making plans and designs. In November, 1887, he joined Messrs. Alley and Mac-Lellan, engineers, Glasgow, as manager, a position he held for two years, during which he was responsible for all their engine, boiler, and marine work. In 1889, Mr. Hide was invited by Mr. J. S. White to start an engineering works in conjunction with his shipbuilding yard at East Cowes, I.W. He accepted the offer, and as engineering manager to Mr. White during the succeeding nine years, he had sole charge of the engineering shops and also of the design of the marine and other machinery produced.

Mr. Hide’s long connection with Hull shipbuilding commenced in 1899, when he became engineering manager to Messrs. Amos and Smith, marine engineers, boiler makers, and ship repairers. On the retirement of Mr. Amos—the only active partner—at the end of the year, he became general manager, having sole control of the affairs of the firm. When, subsequently, the firm became incorporated as a limited liability company, he was appointed managing director, a position he continued to occupy until his death. In addition to his other duties, he was appointed, in 1900, superintending engineer to Messrs. Thomas Wilson, Sons and Company, a firm of shipowners now known as Messrs. Ellerman’s Wilson Line, Limited. He relinquished this appointment a few years ago, and took up the position of managing director of Messrs. Earle’s Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Limited, which he was holding at the time of his death. He became an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in May 24, 1887, and was elected a full member on December 2,1902. He was made a member of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland in 1888, and a member of the Institution of Naval Architects in 1902. For a number of years past, Mr. Hide had served as president of the Hull Iron Trades Association."

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