Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,145 pages of information and 233,681 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
John Mitchell (1874-1932), managing director of the A. B. C. Coupler and Engineering Co
of 69, Kenilworth Court, Putney (1921)
of Queen Anne's Chambers, Westminster (1922)
1932 Obituary 
JOHN MITCHELL was managing director of the A.B.C. Coupler and Engineering Company at the time of his death on 20th October 1932.
He was the son of the late Mr. Hugh Mitchell, M.I.Mech.E., of Edinburgh and was born in Ceylon in 1874. He completed his general education in Edinburgh and from 1891 to 1896 served his apprenticeship in the running sheds and workshops of the Caledonian Railway at Edinburgh and St. Rollox. He also attended during this period the Heriot-Watt Technical College at Edinburgh and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. After a further period as a draughtsman he was placed in charge in 1897 of the testing and inspection department at St. Rollox.
In 1899 he joined the staff of the late Sir Alexander Rendel, and in the following year became first assistant in the rolling-stock department at the London office of the firm, and later engineering assistant to Sir Seymour B. Tritton, K.B.E., M.I.Mech.E.
In 1904 Mr. Mitchell was appointed advisory engineer to the Cape of Good Hope Government Railways and travelled considerably during the succeeding seven years.
In 1911 he returned to this country and subsequently became engineer to the A.B.C. Coupler Company, eventually being appointed managing director in 1918. He was responsible for a number of inventions in connexion with automatic railway couplers, side buffers, wagon doors, and other devices.
He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1902 and transferred to Membership in 1924.
"THE LATE MR. JOHN MITCHELL.
The news of the sudden death, in a nursing home, of Mr. John Mitchell, on October 20, will be received with regret by many railway engineers. Mr. Mitchell, who had been managing director of Messrs. A.B.C. Coupler and Engineering Company, Limited, since May, 1918, was the son of the late Mr. Hugh Mitchell, M.I.Mech.E., of Edinburgh. He was born at Kadu-ganawa, Ceylon, on December 24, 1874, and received his early scholastic training by private tuition at Colombo. In 1885, he was sent to this country and completed his general education at Daniel Stewart’s College, Edinburgh. From 1891 to 1896 he served his time in the running sheds and workshops of the Caledonian Railway Company, first at Edinburgh and subsequently at St. Rollox, Glasgow. Meanwhile, he received scientific training at the Heriot-Watt Technical College, Edinburgh, and at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, Glasgow. Upon concluding his apprenticeship, he was engaged as draughtsman in the works of the Caledonian Railway Company, but, in 1897, was appointed to take charge of the testing and inspection departments of the Company at St. Rollox. In addition to research work in connection with firebox stays and plates, tubes, springs, oils and boiler incrustation, he supervised the construction of six express passenger locomotives, of the Dunalastair type, at Messrs. Neilson Reid’s works, for the Belgian State Railways.
Mr. Mitchell joined the staff of Sir Alexander M. Rendel, K.C.I.E., in 1899, his duties consisting of the supervision, during manufacture, of the railway material made for the Indian State and other railways, by the principal steel and engineering firms in Sheffield and district. In 1900, he was promoted to the headquarters staff, at Westminster, of Sir Alexander Rendel. He was first assistant in the rolling-stock department and afterwards acted as engineering assistant to Sir Seymour B. Tritton. In 1904, Mr. Mitchell became advisory engineer to the Cape of Good Hope Government, a position he continued to occupy for the succeeding seven years. In 1911, he was appointed engineer to Messrs. A.B.C. Coupler, Limited, London, and, in May, 1918, managing director of the Company, which is now known as Messrs. A.B.C. Coupler and Engineering Company, Limited, 31, Queen Anne’s-gate, London, S.W.l. Mr. Mitchell has been responsible for the introduction of a number of automatic railway couplers, buffers, wagon doors and other devices. He was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers."