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British Industrial History

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William Henry Dugard

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William Henry Dugard (1847-1931) of Dugard Brothers

1847 Born Birmingham, son of William Dugard[1]

1881 Metal Roller (Iron) employing 18 Men 12 Boys[2]

1882 A manufacturer; married Mary Ann Norris in Aston[3]

1890 of Vulcan Rolling Mills, Hospital St, Birmingham; executor of his father's will

1931 Obituary [4]

WILLIAM HENRY DUGARD came of a family long identified with the engineering and metal trades of Birmingham. His maternal great-grandfather was Ralph Heaton, the inventor of the button- shank machine, who established a business as blacksmith and manufacturer of rolled metals, wire, button shanks, hooks-and-eyes, etc., in Shadwell Street, Birmingham. His grandfather, George Heaton, was a well-known pioneer in steam road locomotion, and his father, William Dugard, became a partner in the firm of Heaton and Dugard.

It was in the works of this family concern that Mr. Dugard commenced his training in 1864.

In 1875 he and his brother, Mr. George Heaton Dugard, founded the firm of Dugard Brothers, metal rollers, wire drawers, and tube drawers for the optical trades. He designed and erected the whole of the plant for these works, including the vertical compound steam-engine by which it was driven.

In the early days of the steam-turbine the late Sir Charles Parsons, when seeking makers for turbine blading, got into touch with Messrs. Dugard Brothers and Messrs. Heaton and Dugard, and both firms carried out experimental work and made blading for him, including that for the "Turbinia" and other early turbine-driven steamers.

The business soon grew beyond the capacity of their available plant, and the partners in the two concerns then formed the Aston Chain and Hook Company largely for this purpose, and by this company the blading for the "Mauritania" and "Lusitania" and other steamships was made. Of this firm Mr. Dugard was a director until 1925.

On the closing of the old Birmingham business of Messrs. R. W. Winfield and Company, Mr. Dugard and others formed in 1897 the present concern of Messrs. Winfield's Rolling Mills, of which he was a director.

Mr. Dugard was one of the first in his district to take up motoring. He was a foundation member and at one time a Vice-President of the Newcomen Society, in which he took a keen interest.

He became a Graduate of the Institution so long ago as 1868, and was transferred to membership in 1893. He was therefore the oldest surviving member of the Institution at the time of his death, on 14th February 1931, in his eighty-fourth year, though Mr. John Player, who died on the 2nd June 1931, and whose memoir appears on page 754, became a corporate Member in 1869, the year following that in which Mr. Dugard was elected a Graduate.

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