Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Fenwick

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James Fenwick (c1864-1940)

1940 Obituary [1]

JAMES FENWICK, B.Sc., was connected for practically the whole of his professional career with Messrs. J. Fenwick and Company, steam tug and water-boat owners, of Sydney, Australia, a firm founded by his father, about eighty years ago. Mr. Fenwick was apprenticed in 1878 to Mr. Norman Selfe, M.I.Mech.E., a Sydney consulting engineer; he served a further apprenticeship with the Morts Dock and Engineering Company, Ltd., at Morts Bay, Balmain, Sydney, from 1882 to 1886, in order to gain practical experience. Mr. Selfe then engaged him as a draughtsman, but eighteen months later Mr. Fenwick came to England, and after a short period spent on superintending the construction of machine tools he entered the University of Glasgow, where he graduated B.Sc. with honours in 1891. He also gained the Walker Prize in engineering and astronomy.

He was then offered an engineering professorship in England, but decided to return to Sydney and re-join his father's business. At Glasgow, however, he superintended the building of the firm's steam tugs Hero, Leveret, and Newburgh, all of which are still in commission after about fifty years' service; the former and the latter sailed to Sydney under their own power. Subsequently Mr. Fenwick became managing director of the firm, and held this position until his death which occurred in Sydney on 3rd March 1940, in his seventy-sixth year.

He had been a Member of the Institution for no less than forty-eight years, having been elected in 1892.

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