Tributes have been paid to William Edward Hipkins – one of the West Midlands' greatest captains of industry – who died on board The Titanic 99 years ago.
Mr Hipkins, former managing director of Avery Weigh-Tronix in Smethwick, transformed the firm into the largest weighing machine company in the world.
The 55-year-old boarded the ill-fated White Star Liner at Southampton on April 10, 1912 on a business trip to further the company’s success in the US market.
But he was among the 1,503 passengers and crew who died when it sank in the early hours of April 15 on its maiden voyage to New York.
A lecture about the history of the Titanic and its Midland connections was due to be presented to the firm’s staff.
Mr Hipkins, who attended King Edward’s School in New Street, is not the company’s only link with the Titanic – it also supplied a weighing machine located in the ship’s Turkish bath and much of the weighing equipment used at Southampton docks.
Mike Scott, general manager of Avery Weigh-Tronix, said: “We are extremely proud of our history.
“Mr Hipkins is one in a line of managing directors who have helped the company to achieve the status we hold today. He was responsible for kick-starting the expansion of the Avery business globally.”
Andrew Lound, curator of the Avery Historical Museum, based at the firm’s headquarters at Soho Foundry, said: “With more than 250 years of history, the staff at Avery Weigh-Tronix are proud of the company’s heritage.
Mr Hipkins began his working life in the family business as a brassfounder in Birmingham.
He had also been managing director of ropemakers J.&E. Wright Ltd, a director of BSA and was a life governor of the University of Birmingham.