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British Industrial History

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Harold Tongue

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Harold Tongue ( -1960), chief engineer of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment

1960 Obituary [1]

Harold Tongue, who died on 15th February, had been associated with the Institution since 1928, when he became an Associate Member, transferring to Member in 1935. He was concerned for some years with the Southern Branch of the Institution, where he was well known.

Mr. Tongue was educated at the College of Technology, Manchester, and following his military service in the 1914-18 war, he began his professional career as Chief Engineer in the research department of the Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd., Manchester.

After further industrial experience, he joined the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in 1928 as a principal assistant at the Chemical Research Laboratory, Teddington, where he did valuable work on high-pressure technique, particularly in relation to methods of high-pressure syntheses, microbiology and chemotherapy.

In 1934 he joined the Chief Engineer's department of the London County Council as a principal assistant and he had as his special responsibility the design and maintenance of hospital engineering plant.

At the outbreak of the 1939-45 war he was placed in charge of all the Air Raid Precaution arrangements for hospitals in the County of London.

In 1945 he went to Canada to join a team of scientists working on ways of using atomic power and in 1947 he was appointed to the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell. He held the post of Chief Engineer when he retired in 1954, and he continued to assist the Establishment as Consulting Engineer to the Director after his retirement. In the same year he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Mr. Tongue was the author of two textbooks, on chemical engineering and high-pressure chemical plant. He was a Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an Associate Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

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