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British Industrial History

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Ernest Wilson Steele

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Ernest Wilson Steele (1886-1958)

1959 Obituary.[1]

Ernest Wilson Steele was born in Beckermet, Cumberland, on the 23rd February 1886. He died after a prolonged illness at Little Manor, Bedlington, Oxfordshire, on the 7th October 1958.

Steele was educated at St. Bees School and afterwards at King's College, Newcastle upon Tyne, and his early training as an engineer was obtained with J. H. Holmes and Co., Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1912 he joined the Electrical and Ordnance Accessories Co., Birmingham, as chief electrical machine designer. This company was principally interested in d.c. machines, and he made an intensive study of the application of interpoles to d.c. machines.

In 1919 he joined the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co. at Trafford Park as superintendent of the motor department. He became manager at Trafford Park Works in 1940 and succeeded Sir George Bailey as director and general manager of the works in 1944. He retired from executive duties in 1954 and was appointed chairman of Metropolitan-Vickers Beyer Peacock Ltd.

Steele was a kindly man whose range of interests was extremely wide. As a young man he had enjoyed life in Cumberland, where wrestling and fell-running were the major sports. He himself was powerfully built, and, although involved in industry, he retained a very great interest in country pursuits until the end He was much interested in the classics and had a wide knowledge of Greek literature. He is survived by his widow, a son and a daughter.

He joined The Institution as an Associate Member in 1912 and was elected a Member in 1939.

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