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British Industrial History

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James Ferguson (1870-1913)

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James Ferguson (1870-1913)


1913 Obituary [1]

the Institution in 1889. JAMES FERGUSON served his apprenticeship as an instrument maker with the firm of Kelvin & James White at their well-known works in Cambridge-street, Glasgow, and proved himself to be more than an ordinary worker, much of his spare time being spent in learning the scientific principles on which the construction and use of the various instruments were founded. As the firm were usually very busy, he had a unique opportunity of gaining an insight into the art of instrument making, especially as at that time the works were carrying out a large amount of experimental work for the late Lord Kelvin.

He was recommended by his firm for the position of assistant in the Laboratory at Gilmorehill University, and was eventually appointed head of the Standardizing Laboratory at Cambridge-street. Messrs. Kelvin & James White were at that time developing the manufacture of switchboards, and many important ones were designed by Mr. Ferguson. He paid particular attention to the design of circuit-breakers.

In 1905 he began business as an electrical engineer in Pollokshaws, where for seven years he carried out a large amount of switchboard and other electrical work, including petrol-driven lighting sets, of which he made a speciality. His work was marked by bold and original design, and was conducted on sound engineering lines.

He died, at the age of 43, on the 19th January, 1913.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1901.


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