Having started work at the age of 13, in 1920, as an apprentice at Platt Brothers, textile manufacturers, in Oldham, Sam Green by dint of ability and hard work became a noted inventor, a distinguished industrialist and a champion of the disabled.

With a Platt Brothers' scholarship, he attended evening classes and eventually went to Manchester College of Technology. Obtaining Higher National Certificates in mechanical and electrical engineering, he subsequently became a member of the respective institutions and a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

While working, between 1935 and 1939, as a draughtsman and development engineer at the Northrop Loom Company in Blackburn, he invented the box motion of the four-colour Automatic Loom. This was a significant advance in that it eliminated the necessity to change by hand the shuttles carrying the yarn. Before the invention, it had been impossible to deal with three or four colours effectively.

In 1939 Green was appointed chief engineer of Betts & Co whose factories contributed to the war effort by making, amongst other things, foil for anti-aircraft warfare. During the worst of the blitz, in the course of which he was commended for bravery, he transferred some of the manufacturing to Scotland. In 1944 he started a factory near Maidstone which produced laminated plastic boards for the Navy that prevented fire spreading aboard ships attacked by German U-boats.

After the war, in 1945, Green joined the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation (now "3 i") which the first Lord Piercy created, with the assistance of the joint clearing banks, in order to provide venture capital for industry. Green acted as an industrial adviser and troubleshooter, being put in as chief executive to run companies in which ICFC had invested that had got into difficulties.

In 1952 Sir Walter Monckton appointed him as managing director of Remploy. He transformed their workshops for the disabled into factories using industrial methods, started incentive schemes and a sponsorship scheme by persuading, among others, the car and mining industries to provide work for the company. In 1965 the then Minister of Labour, Barbara Castle, asked him to do similar work for the blind and he became chairman of the Industrial Advisers to the Blind. One of his greatest pleasures was being appointed CBE for work on behalf of the disabled.

Sam Green was proud to be asked to help the Royal British Legion, was the first civilian to become a director of the Poppy Factory and the Royal British Legion Industries, and served on the Benevolent Committee. An inventor himself, he also did voluntary work on behalf of other inventors as chairman and vice-president of the Institute of Patentees and Inventors. He was responsible for taking the institute into the International Federation of Inventors' Associations, of which he became vice-president. His work was recognised in 1984 by the award of the Gold Medal of the World Intellectual Property Organisation of the United Nations, presented at a ceremony in Geneva.

Green was a director and chairman of a number of private and public companies, including Ralli Bros (Industries), Grampian Lighting and Duala UK. Characteristically, he continued working in his electrical business until last October. Not surprisingly for a man of great energy and creative intelligence, Green had a wide range of interests: in particularly, he read widely, was a keen walker, swimmer and cyclist (being a member of Britain's oldest bicycling club, the Pickwick), and, in his younger days, a potholer. Happily married for over 50 years, with a barrister daughter, he utilised his long life to make a substantial and significant contribution to the lives of others and to that of the community.

Allan Levy

Sam Green, businessman and inventor: born Oldham, Lancashire 6 February 1907; designer and development engineer, British Northrop Automatic Loom Co 1934-39; chief engineer, Betts & Co 1939-42; works manager, Morphy- Richards 1942-44; general works manager, Holoplast 1944-47; industrial adviser, Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation 1947-52; managing director, Remploy 1952-64; CBE 1960; chairman and managing director, Ralli Bros (Industries) 1964-69; chairman, Industrial Advisers to the Blind 1964-74; director, Royal British Legion Poppy Factory, Richmond 1964-96; chairman, Dula (ISMA) 1969-96; chairman, Green & Associates 1970-96; chairman, Spear Bros 1970-96; Chairman, Institute of Patentees and Inventors 1975; Vice-President, International Federation of Inventors' Associations 1984- 96; married 1942 Lilly Pollak (one daughter); died Bromley, Kent 21 January 1996.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home