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British Industrial History

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Thomas Ferdinand Walker

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Thomas Ferdinand Walker (1838-1921) of Thomas Walker and Son, Ship's Log Manufacturer, 58 Oxford Street, Birmingham.

1838 Born in Digbeth son of Thomas Walker

1861 With his father, he patented the first 'Walker Ship Log'[1]

1863 Married Ellen Eleya Walsh, daughter of John Walsh Walsh (1805-1864), in Birmingham[2]

c.1864 Acquired a glass business, John Walsh Walsh, that had been previously owned by his father-in-law.

1871 Ship log's maker[3]

1871 Thomas F Walker 32, manufacturer of ship's logs (brass), employing 17 men and 2 boys, lived in Deritend, with Ellen E Walker 29, Thomas S Walker 6, Margaret Walker 5, Philip J Walker 1[4]

1878 Dissolution of the Partnership between Thomas Ferdinand Walker and Joseph Beverley Fenby, at Andover street, Fazeley street, and Victoria-buildings, Albert-street, Birmingham, as Wood Carvers and Camp Furniture Manufacturers. The business of the late firm was continued by Joseph Beverley Fenby and another, under the style or firm of J. B. Fenby and Co.[5]

1881 Thomas F. Walker 42, glassmaker, employing 60 men, 12 boys and 6 women, lived in Lodge Road (Glass Works), Birmingham, Ellen E. Walker 39, Thomas S. Walker 16[6]

At some point after this he passed the control of the John Walsh Walsh factory to a new manager Lewis John Murray

1891 Thos. F. Walker 52, ship's log maker, lived in Edgbaston with Ellen E Walker 49, Thos S Walker 26, ship's log maker, Philip J Walker 21, glass maker[7]

1911 Thomas Ferdinand Walker 72, employer, nautical instruments, lived in Edgbaston with Ellen Eliza Walker 69 and Philip Jeffery Walker 41, employer in glass making[8]

1922 Obituary [9]

THOMAS FERDINAND WALKER was born in Birmingham in 1838, and was educated at Edgbaston Proprietary School and at the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers in Paris.

Very early in life he joined his father as partner in the business of nautical instrument making, and successfully produced the "Cherub" Log, in which the rotator is in the water and the register placed on the taffrail, this being the modern form of ship's log.

He was a Director, and at one time Chairman of the Birmingham Small Arms Co., Ltd., also a Director of various other engineering enterprises.

He died on the 28th November 1921, in his eighty-fourth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1876.

See Also


Sources of Information

  2. Non-conformist register
  3. Probate record on the death of his father
  4. 1871 census
  5. London Gazette 10 Jan 1879
  6. 1881 census
  7. 1891 census
  8. 1911 Census
  9. 1922 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries