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British Industrial History

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Norman Macbeth

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Norman Macbeth (1850-1914)

of John and Edward Wood, Victoria Foundry, Ballots.

1914 Obituary [1]

NORMAN MACBETH was born in Glasgow on 16th May 1850.

He was educated at Edinburgh Academy, and later at Friedrichsdorf, Germany.

At the age of sixteen he commenced to serve his apprenticeship at the Heriotfield Paper-Making Machinery Works, Edinburgh. While with this firm he obtained a wide experience in the design and installation of paper-mill machinery, both in Scotland and in Germany.

In 1871 he worked in the drawing office of Messrs. Tod and McGregor, shipbuilders, Partick, Glasgow, and two years later went to Messrs. John and Edward Wood, Victoria Foundry, Bolton, with whom he was connected until 1904 as business and technical manager. During this period the business of the firm was extended very considerably.

He was a pioneer in the adoption of triple-expansion engines in textile factories, and some of the more valuable of his inventions were in connexion with universal metallic stuffing-boxes and high peripheral speed rope-pulley fly-wheels of steel construction.

In 1882 he formed a partnership, in conjunction with his brother, under the name of Macbeth Brothers and Co., who have since carried on a successful and rapidly expanding business in Bombay and Calcutta, as machinery agents, importers, and engineers.

He retired from active business in 1913.

His death took place at his residence at Woldingham, Surrey, after a long illness, on 9th March 1914, in his sixty-fourth year.

He was elected a Member of this Institution in 1883.

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