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British Industrial History

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Frederick Alexander William Brown

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Major Frederick Alexander William Brown (1857-1932)

1889 Inspector of Ordnance Machinery, The Castle, Cape Town

1932 Obituary [1]

Major FREDERICK ALEXANDER WILLIAM BROWN, O.B.E., was born in 1857 at Woolwich and served his apprenticeship at the Royal Arsenal.

In 1891 he entered the carriage department and qualified as an inspector of ordnance machinery, receiving his commission in the Royal Artillery during that year. Some years later he was transferred to the Army Ordnance Department and was engaged in various parts of the world upon the erection and maintenance of heavy guns. Major Brown designed an adaptable gun carriage for use in tribal warfare in hilly country, the special feature being the manner in which the body could be canted and the wheels brought close together to facilitate transit through narrow passes.

Upon his retirement from the Army he became works manager and later general manager of a large manufacturing concern in London and Manchester. Major Brown was recalled to the Army at the outbreak of War, and was responsible for the inspection and purchase of machine-tools and power plant. He designed special mechanical appliances and equipment for "light," "medium," and "heavy" workshops sent overseas, and made extensive tours in this connexion for the purpose of selecting the most suitable appliances under working conditions. He also designed a portable gantry for the erection of outdoor machinery.

Subsequently he became attached to the Ordnance College, Woolwich, and was responsible for testing the qualifications of applicants as Inspectors of Ordnance Machinery.

Major Brown was elected a Graduate of the Institution in 1889, and was transferred to Membership in the same year.

He died on 8th March 1932.

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