Biographical entry Yarrow, Sir Alfred Fernandez (1842 - 1932)
- 13 January 1842
East London, United Kingdom
- 24 January 1932
London, United Kingdom
- Engineer, Naval architect and Shipbuilder
Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow was a London-born shipbuilder and naval engineer who's company Yarrow and Co built many torpedo boats and destroyers for the British Navy.
Yarrow was educated at the University College School and apprenticed in Stepney. Not long after completing his apprenticeship Yarrow took out patents for ploughing equipment with his collaborator of the time, George Hilditch. The two also established the Civil and Mechanical Engineers Society.
In 1865 Yarrow established his first shipbuilding company with George Hedley, Yarrow and Hedley of Poplar on the Isle of Dogs that built river steam launches.
In 1875 the partnership with Hedley dissolved and Yarrow became the driving force of the company, now named Yarrow & Co. During the 1870s the company built military vessels for the Japanese and Argentinian governments.
In the 1880s Yarrow developed his design for a water-tube boiler. It was received with high regard by the engineering world, it being lighter and more efficient and portable than previous boiler designs. From 1887 onward it was installed in new warships and was still in use into the Second World War.
Yarrow was also known for his solution to the problem of excessive vibration in marine vessels. Putting the problem down to inbalance in the engine, in 1894 he devised a system of weights that was incorporated into marine engines and drastically reduced vibration. It was named the Yarrow-Schlick-Tweedy system, for his collaborative partners.
After retiring in 1913, Yarrow returned to work within a year in light of the outbreak of World War I. Yarrow & Co. Went into mass production, building at total of 29 destroyers. In 1916 Yarrow was made a Baronet in acknowledgement of his service during wartime.
- 1855 - 1857
- Education - Educated at the University College School
- 1857 - 1859
- Education - Apprenticed at Ravenhill Sakeld and Co., Marine Engine Builders, Stepney
- Career event - Established partnership Yarrow and Hedley of Poplar
- Career event - When the partnership dissolved, the firm was renamed Yarrow & Co.
- Career event - Yarrow & Co. produced its first torpedo boat, for the Argentinian Government
- c. 1880
- Career event - Designed the Yarrow water-tube boiler
- Career event - Yarrow & Co. built the Royal Navy's first two destroyers Havock and Hornet
- Award - Awarded a baronetcy for his war services
- Award - Honorary Doctor of Laws from Glasgow University
- 'Yarrow & Co. Ltd.', in Ritchie L A (ed.), The shipbuilding industry, a guide to historical records, ed., Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1992, pp. 161-162. Details
- Banbury, P, 'Yarrow & co. Ltd', in Shipbuilding on the Thames and Medway, Davis & Charles Ltd., Devon, 1971, pp. 296-303. Details
- Baxter, B, 'Alfred Fernandez Yarrow', in Slaven, A and Checkland, S (eds), Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography 1860-1960, 1 edn, Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen, 1986, pp. 245-247. Details
- Ritchie, L. A., 'Yarrow, Sir Alfred Fernandez, first baronet (1842-1932)', in Matthew, H. C. G. And Harrison, B. (eds), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 60, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004, pp. 732-733. Details
- 'Yarrow's torpedo boat', Engineering, vol. 28, 17 October 1879, pp. 307-309. Details
- 'Yarrow's Diverging Torpedo Guns', Engineering, vol. 46, 16 November 1888, p. 476 & 479. Details
- 'Yarrow's Torpedo Boat with Quadruple-Expansion Engines', Engineering, vol. 50, 21 November 1890, pp. 608-609. Details
- 'On Balancing Marine Engines and the Vibration of Vessels', Transactions of the Institution of Naval Architects, vol. 33, 1892, pp. 213-228 illus.. Details
- 'The Daring and the Hornet', The Engineer, Letter to the Editor by A. Yarrow and Co. , vol. 78, 10 August 1894, p. 132. Details
- 'Thames Pioneer Shipbuilders and Marine Engineers', The Engineer, vol. 87, 27 January 1899, pp. 81-84. Details
- 'Sir Alfred F Yarrow, Bart, FRS Honorary Vice-President', Transactions of the Institution of Naval Architects, vol. 74, 38457, pp. 301-305. Details
- 'Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow (1842-1932)', Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, no. 1, 12024. Details
- 'The late Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow', Engineering, vol. 133, 29 January 1932, pp. 136-137. Details
- 'Sir Alfred F. Yarrow', The Engineer, vol. 153, 20 January 1932, pp. 133-135. Details
- 'Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow', Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, vol. 234, 38458, pp. 546-550. Details
- 'From the Thames to the Clyde. A history of Yarrow and Co. Ltd.', Ship and Boat Builder, vol. 234, January 1955, pp. 546-550. Details
- Kirkpatrick, C R S, 'Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow Bart., LL.D., F.R.S. (1842-1932)', Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, vol. 233, 1933, p. 323. Details
- Tennyson-d'Eyncourt, E H, 'Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow (1842-1932)', Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, vol. 1, December 1932, pp. 7-11. Details
- Yarrow, A. F., 'Torpedo-Boats, Having Special Reference To Those Built By Messrs. Yarrow and Co.', The Journal of the Royal United service Institution, vol. 28, pp. 602-628. Details
- 'Sir Alfred Yarrow: A pioneer of high-speed vessels', The Times, 11713, p. 17. Details
- Sir Alfred Yarrow an outline history, Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd., Scotstown, Glasgow. Details
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow (1842-1932)', Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, no. 1, 12024; Kirkpatrick, C R S, 'Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow Bart., LL.D., F.R.S. (1842-1932)', Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, vol. 233, 1933, p. 323; Tennyson-d'Eyncourt, E H, 'Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow (1842-1932)', Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, vol. 1, December 1932, pp. 7-11.
Prepared by: Rebecca Rigby