Samuel Ogden 1819 - 1903 - Manufacturer and Businessman Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Samuel Ogden 1819 - 1903 - Manufacturer and Businessman

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Running the 50 odd metres between Granby Row and Whitworth Street, in Manchester, near The University of Manchester Institute Of Science And Technology1, Samuel Odgen Street is seen by many UMIST students and people hanging around the Gay Village.

Samuel Ogden was born in Slaithwaite near Huddersfield in November 1819 and moved to Manchester sixteen years later. He began his working life as a cotton cloth agent becoming very successful, expanding to become a manufacturer of fancy textiles. He was renowned for his knowledge of contract and commercial law, firm judgement and frank expression and his advice was frequently sought. His most devoted activity regarded the Manchester Athenaeum, where he was elected to the post of Honorary Secretary in 1849, and held the posts of Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of the Athenaeum, where he was unanimously re-elected year after year.

The Athenaeum was a gentleman's club which focused on encouraging learning and culture in the city. Lectures were given to members by such literary figures as Charles Dickens2. The building itself, now part of Manchester Art Gallery, was designed by Sir Charles Barry in Palazzo3 style. Barry was also responsible for The Manchester Institute for the promotion of Literature, Science and Arts 4, The Reform Club, The Royal College of Surgeons and The Palace of Westminster. The name Athenaeum lives on in a bar in the city, although there are no prominent links between the two establishments.

He was a director of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and held the post of President for a year. To him was attributed the increased influence that the Chamber of Commerce had on both other chambers and on the surrounding towns. He retired to Colwyn Bay in Wales and died on 21 December, 1903.

1UMIST, part of the combined University Of Manchester from October 2004.2In staying with his sister to attend, he was inspired to write ‘A Christmas Carol‘.3 compact and ornate building like an Italian townhouse.4Now also part of the Art Gallery.

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