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British Industrial History

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Henry Wallace Curchin

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Henry Wallace Curchin (1875-1934) of Curchin and Watson and J. W. Isherwood

1875 December 11th. Born the son of John Curchin (1847-1929), Wharfinger, and his wife Elizabeth Lamb (1852-1934)

1900 Married Susannah Verrill

1901 Living at 100 Granville Road, Middlesbrough: Henry W. Curchin (age 25 born Seaton Carew), Assistant Shipyards Manager. With his wife Susanah Curchin (age born Staithes).[1]

1911 Living at 39 Lothian Road, Middlesbrough: Henry Wallace Curchin (age 35 born Seaton Carew), Naval Architect. With his wife Susannah Curchin (age 32 born Staithes, Yks) and their three children; Henry Verrill Curchin (age 9 born Middlesbrough); Dorothy Curchin (age 4 born Middlesbrough); and Margaret Curchin (age 5 months born Middlesbrough). One servant.[2]

1834 September 28th. Died at Tottenham, Mddx.

1912 Obituary.[3]

MANY naval architects and marine engineers, both at home and abroad, will learn with deep regret of the recent death of Mr. Henry Wallace Curchin, one of the partners of Curchin and Watson, of Bevis Marks, E.C.3.

Mr. Curchin, who had an inventive mind, and made many contributions to the science of ship construction, served his shipbuilding apprenticeship with R. Craggs and Sons, Ltd., of Middlesbrough, and at the early ago of twenty-two became chief draughtsman of the Middlesbrough shipbuilding firm of W. Harkess and Son.

At a later date Mr. Curchin rejoined R. Craggs and Sons as shipyard manager and chief draughtsman, and he collaborated with Mr. Isherwood in the building at the yard of the steamer "Paul Paix," which was the first ship to be built on the Isherwood longitudinal system of construction.

When Mr. Isherwood, later Sir Joseph Isherwood, founded his business, he invited Mr. Curchin to become his chief of staff, a position which he occupied until October, 1917. In his professional capacity, Mr. Curchin, visited many shipyards, advising on technical and constructional matters relating to the system.

In September, 1917, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Shipbuilding under the Nationalist Government of the Commonwealth of Australia, and ho organised the shipbuilding scheme to meet the emergency conditions created by the war. When he left Australia. in August, 1920, some twenty ships had been commissioned or were under construction.

On his return to London he began his own consulting practice with Mr. Kenneth Watson. Among various inventions and improvements in ship construction, we may mention Mr. Curchin's joint patent in the invention of the one-man punching table, which is freely used in both British and Dutch Shipyards.

He took a keen interest in technical and scientific societies, and was a valued member of the Institution of Naval Architects, and the North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1901 Census
  2. 1911 Census
  3. The Engineer 1934/10/12