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British Industrial History

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Jeremiah Eugene Mathewson

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Jeremiah Eugene Mathewson (1841-1906) of Tilghmans Patent Sand Blast Co and George Richards and Co

had son Alfred Eugene Mathewson

1906 Obituary [1]

JEREMIAH EUGENE MATHEWSON was born at Peterborough, New York State, United States, in October 1841.

He was educated at the University of Wisconsin, and afterwards entered a large works where he passed through the various shops and the drawing office.

The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 infected him with zeal for the cause of the North, and he offered his services to the government, which were accepted. He was drafted into the artillery, and for three years served with the guns.

On leaving the army at the close of the war, he returned to his engineering work, and in 1869 was engaged by Messrs. B. C. and R. A. Tilghman, of Philadelphia, as an assistant, experimenting in mechanical and chemical work.

Shortly after the commencement of the engagement, Mr. B. C. Tilghman originated the idea of the sand-blast, and the construction of the first apparatus was entrusted to Mr. Mathewson. He assisted in the subsequent trials of the invention, and, after its development, was sent over by the firm, in 1873, to England, for the purpose of exhibiting the process at South Kensington. The introduction of the apparatus was so successful that it was decided that he should take up his residence permanently in England, and in the following year the Tilghman's Patent Sand-Blast Co. was formed in London, where he lived for several years, becoming a naturalised British subject.

In 1877 he was appointed managing director, a position which he held up to the time of his death. He considerably improved and developed the process, and many patents were taken out by him in connection with it.

The establishment of the works in Sheffield in 1880 eventually led to a large extension of trade. For a long time after its introduction, the sand-blast was practically confined to obscuring and decorating glass, and later to the re-sharpening of worn and half-used files, etc. Within recent years it has been adopted for cleaning castings and removing scale from iron and steel surfaces preparatory to galvanizing, plating, and other processes.

In 1896 the company was amalgamated with that of Messrs. Richards and Co., of Broadheath, Manchester, and Mr. Mathewson, who had for some years been a director of the latter company, became managing director of both concerns, and the sand-blast process was removed from Sheffield to Broadheath. He completely reorganised these works, introducing electric power for steam, and building a new erecting shop and foundry.

In local matters he took a great interest, and was a member of the Altrincham Urban District Council from 1898 to 1901, when he resigned in consequence of pressure of business engagements.

For some little time his health had been failing, and his death took place at his residence in Altrincham, on 31st May 1906, in his sixty-fifth year.

He became a member of this Institution in 1891.

Obituary 1906 [2]

The news of the death of Mr. J. E. Mathewson, managing director of Tilghmans Patent Sand Blast Co and George Richards and Co, Broadheath, Manchester was received . . . [more]

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