Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Bruce Dick

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1830 (May 23rd) Born in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland, son of William Dick, merchant

1851 Accountants Clerk, living in Barony, Lanarkshire[1]

1854 Established in business in Glasgow[2], possibly as More and Dick

1859 Dissolution of the partnership with his sister Margaret and James More as More and Dick, manufacturer of rivets, which then became W. B. Dick and Co.

1861 An Oil Refiner, living in Helensburgh, employing 45 Men and 25 Boys, in the house of his sister Margarett Bruce Kerr 32, with Mary Bruce Dick Kerr 7, Margt Smith Kerr 5, and Caterine Dick 28, Emma Packham 37, visitor, G L Brodie 33, visitor, MacLean Brodie 27, Oil Refiner, Employing 45 Men & 25 Boys[3]

1861 A merchant when he married Elizabeth Harker in London[4]

1871 An Oil Refiner, living in Govan with his wife and family[5]

1875 Moved to Putney

1879 Acquired the Spa Hotel Tunbridge Wells and began extensive developments there. Other business interests included fire extinguishers, at first manufactured by W.B. Dick & Co and later under licence by the Fire Appliance Co. and farming.

1881 William B. Dick, merchant, was living in Putney with his wife Elizabeth 39, Elizabeth J. Dick 16, Margaret A. Dick 15, Charles E. Dick 14, Alice K. Dick 12, Mary B.C. Dick 11, Fanny R. Dick 9, Harry A. Dick 7, Gordon K. Dick 5, Minnie S. Dick 3[6]. His nephew, John Kerr, also lived in Putney and presumably was working with W. B. Dick.

1882 W. B. Dick was at the launch ceremony of the South Staffordshire and Birmingham District Steam Tramways together with John Kerr; W. B. Dick and Co of Leadenhall Street, London were contractors for the tramway company [7]

1883 Spun-out Dick, Kerr and Co from the main company, W. B. Dick and Co.

1898 W. B. Dick and John Kerr founded the Electric Railway and Tramway Carriage Works, registered on 25 April to acquire works at Preston, Lancashire. In 1905, its name was changed to United Electric Car Co [8].

1905 Died in Sevenoaks[9]

His eldest son, William Bruce Dick Jnr. (1863 - 1951) continued the business interests, seeing the lubricating oil side incorporated as a public company in 1936 and eventually taken over by C.C. Wakefield in 1945.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1851 census
  2. The Times, 14 December 1896
  3. 1861 census
  4. London, Marriages
  5. 1871 census
  6. 1881 census
  7. Birmingham Daily Post, 27 July 1882
  8. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  9. BMD

<ref Dick Kerr & Co Ltd (Company history) by John Shorrock, BAE Systems 2016>