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British Industrial History

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Oliver Matthews Row

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Oliver Matthews Row (1859-1926) of Royles

1859 Born in Cornwall, the son of George Row, a Pattern Maker.

1890 Married at West Derby to Mary Whitburn Paul

1911 Living at Clovelly, Irlam Road, Flixton, Lancs: Oliver Mathews Row (age 51 born Feock, Cornwall), Director in Mechanical Engineering Works, Steam and Water Specialities. With his wife Mary Whitburn and their son Leonard Courtney Row.[1]

1926 Obituary [2]

OLIVER MATTHEWS Row was born in Cornwall in November 1859, and served an apprenticeship at the Perran Foundry near Falmouth. Before he was twenty years of age, this firm gave up business, and he went to Liverpool. Here he worked for several firms of engineers until he commenced business for himself as a marine and heating engineer, manufacturing fresh water condensers.

It was at this time that he invented the "Row" tube and secured the interest of Mr. John J. Royle of Manchester.

In 1896 Mr. Row left Liverpool and joined Mr. Royle as Consulting Engineer. As a result of the success of the "Row" tube the firm of Royles, Ltd., was established in 1900 and the present large works of the firm at Irlam were erected.

On the death of Mr. Royle in 1919 Mr. Row was elected Chairman, a post which he occupied until his sudden death at Rhos-on-Sea on 23rd September 1926.

Besides the indented tube and its many adaptations, Mr. Row was the patentee of a system of bath water purification by filtration and aeration which is extensively used throughout the world.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1898 and was a Past-President of the Institution of Heating and Ventilating Engineers.

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