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British Industrial History

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Alexander George Strathern

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Alexander George Strathern (?-1949)

1950 Obituary [1]

"ALEXANDER GEORGE STRATHERN was an engineer with considerable powers of invention, and had numerous patents to his credit. He was the managing director of Weldless Chains, Ltd., from its inception in 1901 until his retirement from office after thirty-one years of service. On completing his general education at Allan Glen's School, Glasgow, he served his apprenticeship in that city at the engineering works of Messrs. Stevenson and Strathern, from 1880 to 1882, and in those of Messrs. John Norman and Company, from 1883 to 1886.

He then went to sea as marine engineer for four years and during this period obtained a First-class Board of Trade Certificate. After two years' experience as a member of the firm of Messrs. A. M. Strathern and Son, Glasgow, consulting engineers, he was works manager to Messrs. Muir and Forsyth, Glasgow, general engineers, from 1892 to 1896. The next four years were spent by Mr. Strathern in the development and manufacture of weldless chains under Rongier's, and subsequently his own, patents (his most notable invention being the Strathern Chain-making Machine, patented in 1897), while acting as technical manager of Strathern's Weldless Chains, Ltd., Gartsherrie, near Coatbridge.

On the formation of Weldless Chains, Ltd., in 1901, he became its managing director. After severing his connection with the company in 1932, he established the firm of Messrs. Gleam Products, Ltd., to develop his patents in connection with light household articles such as the "Gleam" hose drier, plate stand, and butter pat maker. With reference to his earlier researches into the efficiency of the weldless chain and his improvements thereon, mention should be made of their successful application to the safety working of collieries, and more particularly to the working of the shaft "cage", with its heavy load. Mr. Strathern continued to actively direct his business until within a few days of his death which occurred on 4th July 1949, at the age of eighty-three. His long association with the Institution dated from 1901, when he was elected an Associate Member. He was transferred to Membership six years later."

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