Adamson, Daniel 1869 - 1930


Born at Newton Moor on 26 August 1869, Daniel Adamson was the son of Joseph Adamson, engineeer and co-founder of the boilermakers Joseph Adamson & Co. Daniel was first educated at a private school at Hyde, before following the family tradition and starting an apprenticeship in engineering at the age of 16. He initially worked for Messrs. Scott and Hodgson, Guide Bridge, and then with his father's firm, Joseph Adamson and Co, in Hyde. Alongside his practical, on-the-job training, Adamson attended evening classes at the Manchester Technical School and Owens College, Manchester.

By 1890 Adamson became foreman of the turning, fitting and pattern shops of Joseph Adamson. In 1893, he was promoted to the post of works manager. That same year he visited America to study the development of electric transmission. This visit directly inspired Adamson & Co's launch of the first electric three-motor overhead travelling crane in 1894, and later the installation of electric cranes and other electrical equipment in the works at Hyde.

Adamson was a member of various technical societies, and contributed to research and development in the enqineering field. His first paper was read in 1895 before the Manchester Association of Engineers. This was entitled “ Electrical Power Transmission,” and detailed the results of tests on Adamson electric cranes. He continued to have a close involvement with the Manchester Association, as well as being a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers from 1897, the Manchester and District Association of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Electrical Engineers (from 1912), the North East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders, and the Iron and Steel Institute. He also belonged to several American engineering associations, and was a member of the Newcomen Society and the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester.

Under Daniel Adamson, the family business continued to develop. In 1900, Adamson was responsible for building a new power station at the works, while 1907 saw the installation of a hydraulic 1,000-ton flanging press, with tables 14 ft. in diameter. In 1902 Daniel and his brother Harold had become partners in the family firm. The pair would run the firm after their father's death in 1920, until Daniel took over sole ownership in 1925.

Daniel Adamson received various awards and accolades. In 1926 he received The Constantine Gold Medal of the Manchester Association of Engineers, for a paper on “ Electric Cranes.” In 1929, at a meeting of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the University of Manchester awarded Adamson an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.