Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Arthur Primrose Young

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Arthur Primrose Young (1885-1977) of BTH, electrical engineer and management guru

1885 July 2nd. Born in Shields, Ayrshire, the seventh son and youngest of nine children of William Young, farmer, and his wife, Mary Potts, née Walker.

Educated at Finsbury Technical College

1901 Joined BTH as meter tester

1906-8 Sent to work with BTH's majority owner, General Electric Co in the United States

Took out nearly 150 patents

WWI Developed BTH's production of magnetos at its Coventry works based on Simms's magneto and on GE's own research.

1920 Appointed OBE.

1921 Became acting manager of the Coventry works, and manager and engineer in 1922, where he developed the management principle of unified team effort with a common goal.

1928 Young accepted the post of works manager at BTH Rugby.

1931 Founder member of the British Works Management Association

Held discussions with Dr Carl Goerdeler, an opponent of Hitler's (who later worked for Bosch) and called for determined and decisive action by Britain.

WWII Served as a director of labour supply with the Ministry of Labour, and controller of magneto production for aircraft production.

1945 Retired from BTH and took on many outside roles, including as a non-executive director of B. K. L. Alloys from 1947 to its takeover in 1967.

1977 died on 1 February at the Warneford Hospital, Leamington Spa

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography, ODNB