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William Hamilton Martin

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William Hamilton Martin (1850-1917)

1917 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM HAMILTON MARTIN was born in Glasgow on 4th June 1850.

Being left an orphan at an early age, he went to Holland under the care of an uncle who had a small engineering shop in Rotterdam. After attending school he was placed as apprentice with his uncle in 1865, and upon the death of the latter be obtained a situation as draughtsman with Messrs. Burgerhout and Kraak, engineers and boilermakers in Rotterdam. Having an engineering bent, he designed a high-pressure diagonal engine, which for many years was the common type of engine for the tug-boats on the River Maas.

In 1875 the Royal Dockyard in Flushing was turned over to the Royal Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. "de Schelde," and Mr. Martin was appointed engineering manager at the age of twenty-five, with instructions to organize the engineering department.

On the destruction of the workshops by fire in 1880, he at once designed and built a modern engineering shop equipped with the latest tools. He was the first to introduce hydraulic riveting and flanging into Holland, and the "Schelde" Co. soon obtained a reputation for high-class work. All the passenger steamers of the Rotterdam Lloyd Steamship Co. were built by this Company, as well as torpedo-boats and small cruisers for the Dutch Navy.

Mr. Martin was responsible for many improvements in marine machinery, including a six-fold expansion engine for 250 lb. steam-pressure, which, after nearly thirty years' service, is still running to-day. His latest work was the geared Parsons turbine engines for the " Sitoebondo," and at the time of his death he was occupied with the design of machinery for fast cruisers for the Dutch Government.

His death took place in Rotterdam on 19th April 1917, in his sixty-seventh year.

He was a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, and was elected a Member of this Institution in 1886.

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