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British Industrial History

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Arthur Greenwood

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Arthur Greenwood (1845-1910) of Greenwood and Batley

c1848 Born at Leeds the son of Thomas Greenwood

1851 Living with parents in Leeds

1881 Living at St. Mark Villas, Leeds (age 35 born Leeds), Engineer. With wife Annie (age 35) and 'brother' (brother-in-law?) George F. Hoerle (age 30) and 'sister' Fanny E. Hoerle (age 30). Plus a visitor and two servants. [1]

1910 Obituary [2]

ARTHUR GREENWOOD was born at Leeds on 2nd October 1845, being the son of Mr. Thomas Greenwood, an engineer of high repute in that city.

He was educated privately in Leeds, and later in France, where he became an accomplished French linguist, and there he acquired fluency in several languages, which enabled him later in life to develop the foreign connections which his firm had made in earlier years. His father had previously been in Sir Peter Fairbairn's service, becoming ultimately a partner along with Mr. Batley.

In 1856 the firm of Greenwood and Batley was founded, and three years later Mr. Arthur Greenwood was articled to the new firm, and passed through the ordinary course of instruction in the various shops, as well as in the drawing office.

At the age of twenty-one he became foreman in one of the shops, not only by reason of his special aptitude for mechanics, but for his diligence in work.

Two years later he was appointed under- manager, and in 1870, when twenty-five years of age, he was admitted a partner of the firm. At this time, the works proving to be too small, the Albion Works, Leeds, were erected, and have since been considerably extended.

In 1873 his father died, and Mr. Arthur Greenwood then became the general managing partner, his brother, his cousin, and his brother-in-law being the other partners; Mr. Batley had retired from the business a few years earlier. Under his management new departments were added to the business, and he was occupied in the design and construction of highly specialized machinery for the manufacture of nearly all descriptions of munitions of war, and machine-tools for all kinds of mechanical work.

In 1888 the firm was converted into a company, of which he became chairman.

He was specially noted for the cordial relations which he cultivated with his workpeople, and he strongly recognized the importance of encouraging their education.

He was a Justice of the Peace for the city of Leeds, and was an active supporter of the Yorkshire College, which has since become the University of Leeds. For a number of years he was a member of the Council of the Chamber of Commerce and of the Board of Conciliation, and recently was chosen as chairman of the Engineering Employers' Federation.

In 1878 he was elected a Member of this Institution, and last year became a Member of Council. On the occasion of the Summer Meeting of this Institution in Leeds in 1906 acted as chairman of the Reception Committee, and contributed in no small degree to the success of that Meeting. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and took a considerable part in the meeting of the British Association in Leeds in 1890.

His death took place very suddenly at his residence at Burley-in-Wharfedale, on 19th January 1910, at the age of sixty-four.

1910 Obituary [3]

ARTHUR GREENWOOD, born in October, 1845, died at Burley-in-Wharfedale on the 19th January, 1910. After being privately educated at home and on the Continent, he entered, as an articled pupil, the firm of Greenwood and Batley, of Leeds, of which his father, Mr. Thomas Greenwood, was one of the original partners.

After acting as one of the shops’ foremen, he became under-manager, and at the age of 25 was made a partner in the firm. He was elected Chairman on its conversion to limited liability in 1888.

The great development of the firm, which manufactured turbines, torpedoes, small arms and other machinery for Government and private users, was due largely to Mr. Greenwood’s good management and business acumen. He was a Justice of the Peace for the city of Leeds, and took great interest in local affairs, especially in the University of Leeds. Latterly he held the office of Chairman of the Engineering Employers’ Federation. He was also a member of council of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Mr. Greenwood was elected a Member of The Institution on the 6th December, 1881.

1910 Obituary [4]

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