4 thoughts on “The Headstone of Robert James Worth

  1. The Worth patented steam pump was being manufactured by the Worth Mackenzie Company in 1883 and described in an issue of ‘The Engineer’ in 1881. I have not found a patent for this pump.
    I have found some later patents of Robert James Worth listed below. John Mackenzie had patents on different subjects (not listed below).

    Patent number US1102117, Valve controlling gear of winding engines, filing date 21 Oct 1910, publication date 30 June 1914.
    Patent number US1029410, Winding engine for collieries or like purposes, filing date 26 August 1909, publication date 11 June 1912. Witnessed by Richard Tinkler (of Oaklea, Darlington Lane, Norton) and Tom Newbold Cummins Barber, both employees and company secretaries of the firm Worth Mackenzie.
    Patent number GB190818147, Improvements in connection with winding engines for collieries or the like purposes, priority date 1908-08-29, publication date 1909-11-29.
    Patent number GB190925516, Improvements in connection with valve controlling gear of winding engines for collieries and like purposes, priority date 1909-11-5, publication date 1910-11-03.
    Patent number GB191206947, Improvements in or connected with winding engines, priority date 1912-03-21, publication date 1913-04-21.
    Patent number FR13364E, Perfectionnements aux machines d’extraction pour houilleres, ou applications, priority date 1911-11-27, publication date 1911-03-25.

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  2. Robert James Worth, aged 21, engineer, married Mary Reed, aged 22, at Stockton Parish Church on 30 July 1866. William Henry Worth, carpet manufacturer, and John Reed, farmer, were the fathers. An extensive Worth family tree by Sandra J. Cotton is on the familytreemaker. genealogy.com site, but the above marriage details are not listed on this site. The earliest Stockton address I have found for Robert and Mary is 31 Cecil Street, Stockton during the 1870’s.
    So far I have not found any detailed description of the local firm Lumb and Worth c.1871-1880. A promising candidate as Worth’s partner could be James Lumb (c.1826-1894), born Seacroft, Yorks, an engineer employing four men and two boys in the 1871 census and living with his family at 47 Garbutt Street. In the 1881 census Lumb is described as an iron broker with the family now at 5 Alma Street, and in the 1891 census he is recorded as engine fitter at 5 Alma Street. James Lumb can be found as an iron founder and iron merchant at 5 Alma Street in the 1881 Porter trade index for Stockton. The James Lumb family tree can also be found online.

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  3. Taken from the North Eastern Daily Gazette of Wednesday 10 May 1916 with slight additions.

    ‘The death took place on Monday 8 May 1916 at Clovelly Clarence Drive, Harrogate, of Mr Robert James Worth of the Stockton engineering firm Worth and Mackenzie, Phoenix Works. The deceased gentleman, who was 72 years of age, had been in poor health for about three months. The veteran engineer, who was a native of Kidderminster, had been for nearly 50 years connected with the industrial life of Stockton. Some 45 years ago he became a partner in the firm of Lumb and Worth, which adopted the fresh title of Worth and Mackenzie in 1880, and became a limited company three years later. A past president from 1904 to 1906 of the Cleveland Institution of Engineers, Mr Worth was regarded as one of the outstanding engineers on Teesside. He was one of the oldest members of the Middlesbrough and District Association of Foremen, Engineers and Draughtsmen, being connected with this organisation for a great number of years. Even in his advanced age he was well read, and kept himself up to date with the industrial news.

    He was responsible for a good many engineering inventions of which his company are the sole makers. Particularly important, his patented over winding prevention gear is mainly used for controlling the winding of cages in collieries. The late Mr Worth devoted the whole of his time to business, and therefore took no part in the public life of the town. He was a member of the Church of England, and a Liberal in politics. His funeral will take place at 3pm on Thursday 11 May 1916 at Norton Saint Marys Church, with the cortege leaving from his residence at Chestnut House, Norton High Street’.

    The newspaper got his age wrong, Worth seems to have been born on 8 Feb 1845 at Kidderminster and died at the age of 71 years as recorded on his gravestone. All past presidents of the Cleveland Institution of Engineers are displayed on the large Presidents Board, which is housed in the old Tata Steel Research and Development Laboratories at Teesside Technology Centre. Unfortunately, Worth is recorded on this board as R.J. North.

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  4. His US Patent for can be found on line. It was Patented June 30, 1914.
    “….I, Robert James WORTH, a subject of the King of Great Britain and Ireland, residing at Norton-on-tees, in the county of Durham, England, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in the Valve Controlling Gear of Winding- Engines; and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.

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