SAMUELSON, SIR BERNHARD (1820–1905), British ironmaster and promoter of technical education. Samuelson was born in Hamburg and taken by his father, a merchant, to Hull in England's northeast soon afterwards. By the 1840s he had become a merchant engaged in selling British locomotives and engines in Europe and had acquired considerable engineering knowledge. From 1848 Samuelson was an agricultural implements manufacturer and, after 1853, an ironmaster at Middlesbrough, also in England's northeast. By the end of the 19th century he was one of the largest ironmasters in Britain, and one of the few Jewish entrepreneurs in Britain directly engaged in running a successful heavy industry. Samuelson served as a Liberal member of Parliament in 1859 and from 1865 to 1895. In Parliament he served on many committees and commissions concerned with technical education and did much to advance it in Britain. He was made a baronet (a hereditary knight) in 1884.


ODNB online; DBB, 5, 46–51.

[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.