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Jacob Sulzer-Imhoof

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Jacob Sulzer-Imhoof (1855-1922) of Sulzer Brothers


1922 Obituary [1]

JACOB SULZER-IMHOOF, who died on the 6th January 1922, was the last surviving member of the second generation of Sulzer Brothers of Winterthur.

Born on 30th September 1855, he received his early education in Winterthur, and later attended the Federal Technical College at Zurich.

After further study in Germany, he served first for two years in the workshops at Winterthur, and then successively with Messrs. Carel Freres in Ghent, Messrs. Lobnitz and Co. in Renfrew, and Messrs. R. Napier and Co. in Glasgow, with the object of widening his experience and perfecting his knowledge of the English and French languages.

From 1883 he remained with his firm, and, on it being converted into a limited company in 1914, was appointed Chairman.

A born engineer, his chief characteristic was the courageous way in which he attacked the most difficult mechanical problems, which he always endeavoured to solve by ideal technical methods. Particularly deserving of notice are his services in connexion with the introduction and development of the Diesel Engine, for it was mainly on his recommendation that the firm in 1897 constructed an experimental engine and soon after engaged in their regular manufacture. His confidence in the capacity of this type of internal-combustion engine to develop high powers, brought the firm early into the field with a Marine Diesel Engine, the reversible form of which they were the first to produce.

The application of the Diesel Engine to locomotive propulsion was next successfully carried out, and only a short time before his death he engaged in experiments on a new type of engine. His services to applied science were recognized by the Federal Technical College of Zurich, which conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering.

Of unfailing courtesy, his kind reception at the Sulzer Works, of those Members of the Institution who took part in the Summer Meeting of 1911, will be long remembered.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1890.



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