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British Industrial History

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Adolphus Sydney Francis

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Adolphus Sydeny Francis (c1872-1940)


1941 Obituary [1]

ADOLPHUS SYDNEY FRANCIS, M.B.E., whose death occurred on 3rd February 1940, in his sixty-eighth year, was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1902. He was educated at St. Mark's College, Chelsea, and in 1888 entered the employment of the late Mr. W. H. Lefevre, engineer and patent agent. From 1889 to 1891 he was engaged as draughtsman and general assistant to the late Mr. John Dixon, engineer and contractor, of Cleopatra's Needle fame.

He was chief draughtsman and constructional engineer to Messrs. J. and H. Robus, gas- and water-works engineers, for eight years, during which time he designed and superintended the construction of the plant and machinery at numerous gas-works and water-works. In 1899 he became engineer and manager of the gas and water department of the Clacton Urban District Council and retained that position for the remainder of his career, a period of no less than forty years.

During this period he for a number of years also held the position of managing director of Moffatts Ltd., lighting engineers, of London, and was actively concerned with improvements in high-power gas lighting and the development of the inverted gas burner, being himself the patentee of the first practical adjustable gas-burner nipple. Mr. Francis also acted as consultant engineer and valuer of the plant and machinery for the purchase of the Attleborough gas-works, and also took charge of the reconstruction, from his own designs, of Walton-on-the-Naze gas-works. During the 1914-18 war he filled the offices of military representative and local emergency officer in addition to that of inspector of special constabulary.

At the time of his death he held the rank of superintendent, with 26 years of unbroken Special Police service behind him.


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