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British Industrial History

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James Gillender Smeaton

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James Gillender Smeaton (1886-1942)

1942 Obituary [1]

JAMES GILLENDER SMEATON was born at Gateshead-on-Tyne in 1886, and served his apprenticeship from 1902 to 1908 in the workshops and drawing office of Messrs. John Abbot and Company, Ltd. He then became a draughtsman in the office of Messrs. Cowans, Sheldon and Company, Ltd., Carlisle, remaining with the firm from 1908 until 1913, when he was appointed technical assistant to Sir William Arrol and Company, Ltd., of Glasgow. After holding that position for eighteen months, he proceeded to Australia, where he became engineer assistant to the Victoria State Railways in Melbourne.

On his return to England in 1916 he joined Messrs. William Cory and Son, Ltd., of Erith, Kent, as engineer designer and chief draughtsman, and remained with that firm up to the time of his death. He was appointed engineering assistant in 1922, principal assistant engineer in 1926, becoming principal engineer in 1934. One of the most interesting tasks carried out under his direction was the design and erection at Rouen, France, of two 7-ton transporter cranes including electric power plant and wharf equipment for discharging coal. He was also responsible for the conversion of several lighters into oil tankers. In addition, he carried out many extensions and additions to coal discharging depots in this country and abroad, and designed and constructed a number of steam and Diesel tugs and other river craft.

Mr. Smeaton was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1920 and was transferred to Membership in 1928. His death occurred on 14th September 1941.

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