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George Cuming

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George Cuming (1871-1919) of Harland and Wolff


1919 Obituary [1]

GEORGE COMING, O.B.E., J.P., was born in Belfast on 5th February 1871.

He received his scholastic education at the Royal Academical Institution, Belfast, and then studied at the Belfast Science School for two years.

At the age of sixteen he entered the engine works of Messrs. Harland and Wolff, Ltd., as a pupil, and five years later was engaged in their drawing office. From 1896 to 1899 he superintended the erection and completion of marine engines and boilers at Pembroke Dock, Portsmouth, and Belfast, for Messrs. Harland and Wolff, Ltd., and in the latter year he was appointed assistant manager in the same engine works.

In 1907 he succeeded Mr. W. J. Pratten as manager of the engine works, where his great technical skill and organizing ability led to his being appointed a Managing Director of the Firm, subsequently a Principal, and more recently Deputy Chairman of the Company.

Mr. Cuming was generally recognized as one of the ablest shipbuilders and engineers associated with the Firm. He was closely identified with the recent developments in marine engineering, and was also an expert in internal-combustion engines on the Diesel principle, having been the principal director with Lord Pirrie in developing the firm's Diesel engine works at Glasgow. He supervised the design and construction of the machinery of the largest Atlantic liners, including the "Olympic" and "Britannic," and the construction for the Navy of various types of marine engines, including the machinery of one of the famous "hush" boats, which was reputed to be the fastest vessel in the Royal Navy.

His death took place at his residence in Belfast on 1st February 1919, in his forty-eighth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1906.


1919 Obituary [2]

GEORGE CUMING, O.B.E., who died in his forty-eighth year, on February 1, at his residence, Ormiston, Belfast, was Deputy Chairman of Harland & Wolff, Ltd., Shipbuilders and Engineers.

He was the only son of the late Mr. George Cuming of Lannevan, Knock, Belfast, and was educated at the Royal Academical Institution, Belfast, where he distinguished himself in mathematics. At the age of sixteen he entered the Engine Works of Messrs. Harland & Wolff, Ltd., as a pupil. During his apprenticeship he showed great diligence and capacity, and on its completion he was marked for early promotion, being, in fact, advanced from post to post, until eventually, some twelve years ago, while still quite a young man, he succeeded Mr. W. J. Pratten as Manager of the vast Engine Works of the firm.

His great technical skill, untiring industry, and organizing ability made the appointment an unqualified success, and led to further advancement by his being appointed a Managing Director of the firm, subsequently a Principal, and more recently Deputy Chairman of the Company.

Mr. Cuming was generally recognized as one of the ablest shipbuilders and engineers among the many brilliant men who were associated with the firm, and was probably one of the best marine engineers in the United Kingdom. He was closely identified with all the recent developments in marine engineering, including reciprocating engines on the balanced principle combined with the low-pressure turbine, giving a high efficiency in steaming and power.

He was also an expert in internal combustion engines on the Diesel principle, having been the principal director with Lord Pirrie in developing the firm's Diesel engine works at Glasgow. He supervised the design and construction of the machinery of the largest Atlantic liners, including the Olympic and Britannic, and the construction for the Navy of various types of marine engines, including the machinery of one of the famous "hush" boats, which was reputed to be the fastest vessel in the Royal Navy.

Mr. Cuming was elected to membership of the Institute in March 1916.


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