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Henry Brier

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Henry Brier (1857-1938)

1896 of J. H. Carruthers and Co

1938 Obituary [1]

HENRY BRIER was well known for his work in connection with the refrigeration industry. He was a partner in Messrs. Seagers, Ltd., engineers and founders, of Dartford, for over thirty years, and was managing director until the time of his death.

He was born at Bollington, Cheshire, in 1857, and served his apprenticeship in Nottingham with Messrs. Manlove and Alliott from 1876 to 1879. In the same year he was sent to the Rouen establishment of the same firm, as head draughtsman and shop manager, a position which he held for nearly five years. He then became superintendent of the Rouen Tramway Company, which had adopted steam traction. In 1884 he joined Messrs. Corbran and Le Marchand, of Rouen, a firm manufacturing Corliss engines, but returned to England two years later to join the newly formed Brin's Oxygen Company (later the British Oxygen Company), for whom he erected the first plant for the commercial manufacture of oxygen, in Westminster.

Mr. Brier was made engineer and manager of the Polmadie, Glasgow, works of the associated Scotch and Irish Oxygen Company in 1888, and in 1896 he also became a director of Messrs. J. H. Carruthers and Company, Glasgow. He joined Messrs. J. and E. Hall, of Dartford, as designer, afterwards chief technical adviser, in 1898, and was instrumental in developing many of their machines, relinquishing this position in 1906 to commence his long partnership with Messrs. Seagers. He was responsible for many of the extensions to the firm, the last of these plans being put into execution less than a year before his death, which occurred at Dartford on 7th May 1938.

In addition to his patents covering the regulator for the multiple-effect compression refrigerating cycle arranged for precooling by primary evaporation and automatic regulation, on which he contributed several papers to technical institutions, Mr. Brier introduced a form of compound carbon-dioxide compressor for obtaining moderately low refrigerating temperatures and for the production of solid carbon dioxide. During his service with the British Oxygen Company he was instrumental in the design of cylinders, valves, and fittings; and it is remarkable that when the Cylinder Committee of the British Standards Institution reviewed the specifications about eight years ago, they found little or nothing to alter. Mr. Brier also invented the stretch-testing apparatus which has become standard throughout the gas-cylinder industry, and was a pioneer designer of hiFb-pressure compressors for oxygen and other gases.

He was a Member of the Institution for no less than fifty-one years, having been elected in 1887. At the time of his death he was a vice-president of the British Association of Refrigeration.

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