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British Industrial History

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Frederick Rollins Low

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Frederick Rollins Low (1860-1936)

1936 Obituary [1]

FREDERICK ROLLINS LOW, D.Eng., was an outstanding personality in engineering journalism. He edited the journal Power from 1888 to 1930, a period of forty-two years, after which he was made editor emeritus.

He was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in 1860 and became a telegraph clerk in a Western Union office at the age of 14.

In 1880 he joined the staff of the Boston Journal of Commerce as secretary to the editor, and took a keen interest in a department of the journal devoted to technical problems of textile mill power plants. Six years later he became engineering editor of the journal. About this time he brought out several inventions in connexion with power plant.

His long connexion with Power commenced with his appointment as fifth editor. During his leadership he succeeded in extending the scope of the journal, whilst maintaining a practical point of view in the articles appearing in it.

Mr. Low was the author of four technical books dealing with power plant, which were published between 1898 and 1906.

In 1918 he was elected vice-president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, becoming president in 1924. In the same year he came to London as delegate of that Society to the World Power Conference; in recognition of his services in this direction the Institution elected him an Honorary Life Member. Among several honours awarded him were that of the honorary degree of doctor of engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was chairman of two committees of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, dealing respectively with the codification of safety rules for the construction of steam boilers and unfired pressure vessels, and with the rules for testing boilers, turbines, engines, and other power equipment; he continued as chairman of these committees until his death, which occurred at Passaic, New Jersey, on 22nd January 1936.

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