1905-1906: Edward Pritchard Martin

1905-1906: Edward Pritchard Martin


Edward Pritchard Martin (1844-1910)

28th President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Martin was born on 20th January 1844 in Dowlais, Wales. His father was mining engineer to the Dowlais Iron Co. for 58 years.
He was privately educated in England, then studied in Paris, France. At the age of 16 he was apprenticed under W. Menelaus, who had worked with Sir Henry Bessemer in his early experiments.

In 1864, he was transferred to the London office of the Dowlais Iron Co. Five years later he was appointed deputy general manager of the Dowlais Works under Menelaus. At the end of 1870 he became manager of the Cwmavon Works, owned by the Governor and Company of Copper-Miners in England. Later he was transferred to the Blaenavon Iron Works.
Whilst at the Blaenavon Iron Works, he became associated with the Thomas-Gilchrist attempts to make a satisfactory metal from phosphoric ores. He was the first to give facilities for making trials on a commercial basis. For this he was awarded the Bessemer Gold Medal of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1884, in conjunction with E. Windsor Richards.

In 1882, after the death of Menelaus, Martin became General Manager of the Dowlais Iron Works, and continued in this position for twenty years. The erection of the new Dowlais-Cardiff Works on Cardiff Moors was commenced in 1888. Two blast-furnaces were blown in February 1891, and the steel works and plate mills started work in 1895. He introduced labour-saving machinery whenever possible, incorporating many ideas gained from visits to America.

He was President of the IMechE in 1905, and re-elected in 1906. He was also an Original Member of the Iron and Steel Institute, and was President in 1897-1898. He was President of the South Wales Institute of Engineers, and the Monmouth and South Wales Colliery-Owners’ Association. He also held the chairmanship of the South Wales Iron and Steel Workers’ Sliding-Scale Board, an institution which was credited with keeping the district free from labour disputes.

He died at Harrogate, England on 25th September 1910.

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