White (J Samuel), Cowes

From Wightpedia

In 1803 Thomas White, a shipbuilder, moved, with his family, from Broadstairs in Kent to Cowes Isle of Wight.

Over the following years, Thomas and his sons ran individually and in partnership various shipyards at East and West Cowes. It was in 1860 that all the yards were combined under the name 'J. Samuel White'. So, strictly speaking, vessels built before 1860 were produced by shipyards operated by members of the White family, not by 'J. Samuel White'.

Non shipbuilding activities:

In 1912 J. Samuel White & Co. Ltd. opened an aircraft department with Howard T. Wright as chief designer, initially building seaplanes on the shore of East Cowes. In 1913 they were operating from their first airfield at West Cowes, located off Park Road. In 1916 they purchased land at Somerton for a new airfield and, later, land to the east of Newport Road for a factory. After the end of hostilities Whites reviewed their operations and decided that their future lay in shipbuilding and so in 1919 they ceased to have involvement with aircraft and the airfield at Somerton was sold to S.E. Saunders.

In 1961, White's purchased local J Arthur Dixon, printers of postcards, greeting cards etc. with factories on Forest Road, Newport and at Inverness, Scotland.

Other attempts at diversification were also attempted as shipbuilding declined.

The demise of J. Samuel White:

In 1974, J. Samuel White's was taken over by Elliott & Co., a subsidiary of the International Carrier Corporation of Syracuse, N.Y., USA and the company traded as Elliott Turbomachinery.

The new company divested itself of peripheral interests - the J Arthur Dixon operation was sold to the Dickinson Robinson Group Ltd.