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British Industrial History

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Frederick Arthur Robinson

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Frederick Arthur Robinson (c1860-1946)

1896 of F. A. Robinson and Co

1946 Obituary [1]

"FREDERICK ARTHUR ROBINSON, whose death occurred at Cobham, Surrey, on 20th December 1945 at the age of 85, was closely connected with the development of gold mining in South Africa. He was one of the oldest Members of the Institution, having been elected in 1890. In addition he was an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

At an early age he joined the firm of Messrs. Howard Farrer and Company, exporters to South Africa of agricultural machinery. The export of the firm's products to South Africa was largely augmented, on the inception of gold mining, by the supply of machinery to the mines, in which undertaking Mr. Robinson's business ability, technical skill, and industrious qualities played an important part. He ultimately became head of the London office. It is noteworthy that the firm is credited with the introduction into South Africa of the first stamp-battery, the first electric lighting set, and the first rock-drill. A visit to the Dolcoath Tin Mine in Cornwall (of which he subsequently became a director) decided Mr. Robinson to give a trial in South Africa to a type of rock-drill he saw at work there. His judgement was proved by its subsequent success on the Rand, where it, indeed, earned a great reputation. During the latter half of his life Mr. Robinson's main interest was in the Anglo-French Exploration Company, Ltd., of which he was a director. In this connection he was chairman or a director of a number of other companies including the Anglo-Burma Tin Co and the Apex (Trinidad) Oil Co. He vacated the chair of the Anglo-French Exploration Corporation shortly before his death, retaining, however, his seat on the Board."

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