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British Industrial History

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John Catto

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John Catto (c1868-1942)

1942 Obituary [1]

JOHN CATTO was educated at Peterhead Academy and afterwards served his apprenticeship with the Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Company. From 1885 to 1888 he was employed as a fitter in the Cowlairs works of the North British Railway, during which period he received his technical education at Anderson's College, Glasgow.

He then went to sea, and subsequently obtained his First-Class Board of Trade Certificate and gained rapid promotion. In 1892 he was appointed chief engineer and served in that capacity on several vessels for about fifteen years, except for a period ashore in 1894 and 1895 when he superintended extensive repairs to various vessels owned by Messrs. Nelson, Donkin and Company. During 1906 and 1907 he was assistant to Mr. E. Just Flindt, and superintended the construction of S.S. Calcutta. He then entered into partnership with Mr. W. C. Carter, consulting engineer and ship surveyor, of London, with whom he was associated for three years before going into business on his own account.

During the war of 1914-18 he served with the Ministry of Shipping, and upon the conclusion of hostilities he went to Basra, on the instructions of the late Lord Inchcape, as consulting engineer to the Disposals Liquidation Commission. He afterwards resumed his practice as a consultant and ship surveyor, his activities being chiefly connected with the Tyne. He was also marine superintendent for Messrs. Stanley and John Thompson of London and supervised the construction of vessels for the Silver Line.

Mr. Catto, whose death occurred on 1st January 1942, was elected a Member of the Institution in 1912. He was also a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects and one of the founders of the Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors.

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