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John Harold Woodward

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John Harold Woodward (1865-1927)

1927 Obituary [1]

JOHN HAROLD WOODWARD, for many years a partner in the firm of Messrs. Preece, Cardew and Rider, was born on the 23rd September, 1865, at Macclesfield, his father being connected with the silk industry and owning a dye-works in that town.

He was educated at the Macclesfield Grammar School and at Owen's College, Manchester, where he studied engineering under Prof. Osborne Reynolds.

He specialized in electrical work and, on leaving college, joined the technical staff of Messrs. Elwell-Parker, Ltd. This company was absorbed by the Electric Construction Co. in 1890, and the lay-out of the new works at Bushbury, Wolverhampton, was largely due to him.

He also designed much of the plant for the electrification of the Liverpool Overhead Railway, the South Staffordshire Tramways and for other early electric railways, tramways and electricity supply stations; and the first alternators installed in 1889 by the Metropolitan Electric Supply Co. in Manchester Square and Rathbone Place were also to his design.

Subsequently he went as chief designer to Messrs. Thomas Parker, Ltd., when that firm was founded.

In 1899 he joined Messrs. Preece and Cardew, consulting engineers, and in 1909 was made a partner in the firm, which is now known as Messrs. Preece, Cardew and Rider. He was largely associated with the firm's lighting, tramway and railway work in this country and abroad, among the electricity supply and tramway undertakings upon which he was recently engaged being those at Auckland, Dunedin, Wellington(N.Z.), Sydney, Brisbane, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong-Kong and Buenos Aires.

He was of a quiet, retiring disposition and never sought notoriety. To those who knew him his ripe experience and gentle, kindly nature were deeply appreciated. All who were brought into contact with him, whether clients, manufacturers or engineers, will regret his death, which occurred on the 27th May, 1927.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1911.

1927 Obituary[2]


We regret to note the death, on May 27 last, following a severe operation, of Mr. John Harold Woodward, for many years a partner in the firm of Messrs. Preece, Cardew and Rider, consulting engineers, of 8, Queen Anne’s-gate, London, S.W.l.

The younger son of the late Mr. Edward Woodward, of Upton, Macclesfield, Cheshire, he was born on September 23, 1865, and received his general education at King Edward VI Grammar School, Macclesfield. During the years from 1883 to 1885, he studied engineering at Owen’s College, Manchester, and in October of the latter year he entered the works of Messrs. Elwell-Parker, Limited, Wolverhampton. At this period of his career, Mr. Woodward was engaged in the design and manufacture of continuous and alternating-current generators, motors, transformers, accumulators and other plant of a similar nature. He also gained experience in the operation of electric lighting plants, electro-deposition installations, and electric tramway undertakings. In 1891, the firm of Messrs. Elwell-Parker, Limited, was absorbed by the Electric Construction Company. Mr. Woodward’s services were retained, and, during the three years which followed, he became closely associated with the design, manufacture and installation of plant for several important undertakings. These included the electrical equipment of the Liverpool Overhead Railway and of the South Staffordshire Tramways, and generating plant for electricity supply stations in London, Manchester, Blackpool, Burnley, Aberdeen, Wolverhampton, Oxford, Melbourne and Johannesburg.

The young engineer joined the staff of Messrs. Thomas Parker, Limited, Wolverhampton, in 1894, and remained with this firm for four years, during which time he was engaged in the design and manufacture of electrical plant of various kinds. In 1898, Mr. Woodward became engineer on the staff of Messrs. Preece and Cardew, a position he continued to occupy until 1910. In this latter year, he became a partner in the firms of Messrs. Preece, Cardew and Snell, and Messrs. Preece, Cardew and Rider. During the last few years of his life he was chiefly occupied on works in connection with large electric power stations and distributing systems. These works included the erection of large steam turbines, together with boilers and auxiliary plant for electricity undertakings in Shanghai, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, and Wellington, and extensions to the electric tramway systems of Penang, Wellington and Dunedin. He also visited Jamaica to report on the proposed hydro-electric supply and railway-electrification schemes. Mr. Woodward remained in activity until the end, and was in his office at Queen Anne’s-gate as recently as May 21 last. He became an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on December 1, 1891, and was elected to full membership on December 19, 1922 ; he was elected a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1911."

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