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Charles Ernest Paolo della Diana Spagnoletti

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Charles Ernest Paolo Diana Spagnoletti (1832-1915), telegraph Superintendent of the Great Western Railway


1916 Obituary [1]

CHARLES ERNEST PAOLO DIANA SPAGNOLETTI, wellknown electrical engineer, died at 16 Frognal Lane, Hampstead, on the 28th June, 1915.

Born at Brompton in 1832, a descendant, of the Italian noble family of Diana, his father and grandfather being prominent musicians, he was educated at Brompton, and in 1846 became a pupil of Alexander Bain, inventor of the chemical printing telegraph.

In 1847 he joined the staff of the Electric Telegraph Company and travelled for them, opening up stations in various parts of the kingdom until 1855, when he entered the service of the Great Western Railway Company as chief telegraph engineer, a position which he retained for 37 years, being appointed Consulting Electrical Engineer to the Company on his retirement in 1892. He also acted as Consulting Engineer to the City and South London, Central London, and Metropolitan and District railway companies, and the London Electric Omnibus Company.

His work on the Great Western Railway formed the basis of railway telegraphic practice throughout the United Kingdom. He was associated with the introduction of the disk-block and interlocking of electric and mechanical signals, portable telegraphs, and a system of communication between passengers and guards; and invented a number of electrical devices applicable to railways and telegraphs generally. He also developed a new system of telephony on the phonophore system. He was a past-president of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and served in various capacities on practically all the national and international exhibitions since 1878.

Mr. Spagnoletti was elected a Member of The Institution on the 4th May, 1875.


1916 Obituary [2]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1916 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
  2. 1916 Institution of Electrical Engineers: Obituaries