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British Industrial History

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Martin Samuelson

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1859. Planing slotting and grooving machines.

Martin Samuelson (1825-1903), of Martin Samuelson and Co

1825 Born in Hamburg, son of Samuel Hermann Samuelson, a merchant

1857 of Scott Street Foundry, Hull.[1]

1903 Obituary [2]

MARTIN SAMUELSON, the son of a Liverpool merchant, was born at Hamburg on the 2nd January, 1825, and served his apprenticeship with the shipbuilding firm of Messrs. Caird, of Greenock, at a time when they were building West Indian mail-packets of wood.

After being engaged in the works of Messrs. Hicks, of Bolton, and of Sharp, Roberts and Co, of Manchester, and at the Old Ford Waterworks, he was employed for five years, first as an Assistant Engineer and subsequently as Resident Engineer on the construction of railways now forming part of the London and North Western system.

In 1849 he began to practise in Hull as a marine and general engineer under the style of Martin Samuelson and Co. The Company was enlarged in 1854, when his brother, the late Alexander Samuelson, joined the firm, the chief work being shipbuilding and the application of steel to marine engineering, as well as the manufacture of hydraulic presses, in place of the old stamper presses, for seed-crushing, the staple industry of Hull. So early as 1856 the firm made steel boilers for use on land. These were for Marriott, Atkinson and Co’s works at Sheffield, and were in use for twenty years without any material repairs.

Mr. Samuelson built in 1860-1862 two early steel vessels, one, the 'Annie,' being classed after considerable difficulty as 'A 1 Experimental' on Lloyd’s register ; the other, the 'Latona,' was captured while blockade-running on the coast of America. The firm also built the 'Spurn,' the 'Gertrude' and the 'Lord Cardigan,' the first cargo steamers to run from Hull to St, Petersburg without having to unload at Cronstadt. During the short space of ten years, no less than ninety-seven vessels, principally steamers, were built in the yard. The works were sold in 1864 to the Humber Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company.

Mr. Samuelson then took general engineering works in Neptune Street, Hull, and amongst other work built the North Bridge over the River Hull. This is an hydraulic draw-bridge, which is pulled back into the roadway when required to be opened.

He also constructed machinery for the blast furnaces of Messrs. B. Samuelson and Company at Middlesbrough, and travelling rolls for their Britannia Mill, the latter now owned by Dorman, Long and Co. This latter machinery was in regular use until 1892, when it was removed and electric power substituted.

The works in Neptune Street were sold in 1873 to Amos and Smith.

Mr. Samuelson then practised as a Consulting Engineer and Marine Surveyor and Valuer, in which capacity he enjoyed a high reputation. He was also Engineer to the Humber Conservancy Commissioners from 1891, and only three days before his death he attended a meeting of that body, when some important proposals made by him for the improvement of the River Humber were considered. Mr. Samuelson was a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects, and was formerly a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers; he was also the first President of the late Hull and District Institution of Engineers and Naval Architects, which was formed in 1885.

He was extremely active, even to the day of his death, which took place suddenly at Hessle on the 26th February, 1903.

He became a Member of the Town Council of Hull in 1853 and was Sheriff in 1857 and Mayor in 1858. He was the first colonel of the Royal East Yorkshire Volunteer Artillery stationed at Hull, which body he was instrumental in forming. H0 was a Justice of the Peace for the East Riding of Yorkshire, and Chairman of the Hull Charity Trustees.

Mr. Samuelson was elected a Member of the Institution on the 2nd December, 1862.

1903 Obituary.[3]

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