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British Industrial History

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Charles Cooper (1884-1960)

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Charles Cooper (c1884-1960) of The Engineer


1960 Obituary [1]

WE have learned with regret of the death of Mr. Charles Cooper, which occurred on February 24 at his home at Northwood, Middlesex.

Mr. Cooper, who was seventy-six, had spent no less than sixty of his years on the editorial staff of Engineering. The only interruption in that long period of service was during the first world war, when, for a time, he had charge of a wind tunnel at St. Albans which was built for the aviation department of Vickers, Ltd. Among the matters with which he was closely concerned there was the wind tunnel work for the design of the "Vimy" bomber.

To his many friends, Charles Cooper delighted to recall that he started his long working life as an office boy with our contemporary, shortly before reaching his fourteenth birthday. But he set himself the aim of matriculation through evening classes at what is now the Chelsea Polytechnic and, having achieved that aim, he went on to take the intermediate examination for an engineering degree. Study for the final examination was delayed for a few years but it was subsequently resumed through evening classes and a correspondence course, his degree being gained in the summer of 1914.

From 1919 onwards, Charles Cooper was fully occupied with the editorial work of Engineering and from 1939 to 1953 was joint editor of the journal. His special interests included astronomy, the early development of television and the development of scientific instruments generally. For nearly forty years he took an active part in the work of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, especially in the work of the engineering section. He was similarly interested in the work of the Royal Institution and of the Royal Aeronautical Society, of which he was elected an associate fellow in 1918.

We, in company with many others, cherish a long friendship with Charles Cooper. He delighted in conversation and conversation with him was by no means confined to reminiscence; he was at all times eager to talk about current trends and developments. Above all, Charles Cooper was enthusiastic about the profession of technical journalism, in which he served what must surely be a record term of years. He relinquished daily attendance at his office in 1957, but we think it would be right to say that be never really retired. For we recall an occasion when he told us that that was one of the things he never wanted to do!


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