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British Industrial History

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William Cochrane

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William Cochrane (1837-1903) of Cochrane and Co

Mining Engineer, Elswick Colliery, Elswick Newcastle-on-Tyne; and Oakfield House, Gosforth, Newcastle-on-Tyne

1903 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM COCHRANE was born at Blackbrook, near Dudley, on 23rd January 1837, being the second son of the late Mr. A. Brodie Cochrane of Stourbridge.

He was educated at Hawthorn Hall, Wilmslow, and at King's College, London, with a view to proceeding to Cambridge and taking up the Bar as a profession, but, owing to his father's failing health, he was obliged to relinquish this intention, and entered business in his father's iron works and collieries in Staffordshire.

In 1857 ho went north to superintend the development of Elswick, Tursdale, and New Brancepeth Collieries. His abilities as a mining engineer were soon recognized, and he was frequently engaged as a professional witness in important mining cases and arbitrations.

He took a leading part in the foundation of the Durham College of Science at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and was a member of its Council from the commencement. In recognition of his work on behalf of the College, the University of Durham in 1901 conferred upon him the honorary degree of Master of Science.

He was instrumental in introducing the Guibal ventilating fan into this country; and, in conjunction with the late Professor Marreco, conducted a series of important experiments on the explosive nature of coal dust in mines. He took a prominent part in the organization and management of the Exhibition held at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1887.

In 1898 he succeeded his brother, Mr. Charles Cochrane, as chairman of Messrs. Cochrane and Co.

His death took place, after a long illness, at his residence in Newcastle-on-Tyne, on 25th November 1903, in his sixty-seventh year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1868; he was also a Vice-President of the Institution of Mining Engineers, and a Past-President of the North of England Institute of Mining Engineers.

1903 Obituary [2]

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