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British Industrial History

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William Smethurst

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William Smethurst (1850-1940)

1880 of Dewhurst, Hoyle and Smethurst, Garswood Hall Colliery, Ashton, near Wigan.

1940 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM SMETHURST was born in 1850, and at the time of his death, on 1st January 1940, he was in his ninetieth year. He received his education from 1861 to 1870 at Kirkham Grammar School and Manchester Mechanics' Institution. He served his apprenticeship from 1865 to 1871 in the locomotive works of Messrs. Sharp, Stewart and Company, Ltd., Manchester.

On completing his apprenticeship he continued with the firm as a draughtsman and later he joined Messrs. Nasmyth, Wilson and Company, Ltd., of Patricroft, in a similar capacity. In 1879 he was promoted to be engineer and chief draughtsman and while occupying this position he was responsible for locomotive design, also hydraulic baling presses and hydraulic plants.

He resigned from this post in 1896 in order to start his own business in Manchester as a consulting engineer. He was chief consultant to many important firms in England, India, and Egypt. Many hydraulic plants at home, and numerous cotton and jute baling presses abroad, were designed by him, and he was also responsible for designing and patenting a revolving box cyclone cotton- or jute-baling press giving a higher output.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1899.

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