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British Industrial History

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John Muirhead

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John Muirhead (1846-1895)

1867 Manager of Warden and Co

1872 Joined Society of Telegraph Engineers

1876 Left Warden and Co

1877 Entered into partnership with Latimer Clark as Latimer Clark, Muirhead and Co) with whom he carried on business as an electrical engineer.

1884 Joined Inst Civil Engineers

1891 Civil engineer living in London with Hannah I Muirhead 41[1]

1895 Died in London[2]


1896 Obituary [3]

JOHN MUIRHEAD, eldest son of the late Mr. John Muirhead, of Upper Norwood, was born at Salton in Haddingtonshire on the 11th of March, 1846.

After being educated at University College, London, he was appointed, at the age of twenty-one, manager to Warden and Co, with which firm he remained until 1876. During that time he was principally occupied in the preparation of telegraph plant and in the erection of telegraph lines in all parts of the world, including about 700 miles in the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1877 he entered into, partnership with Latimer Clark, (see Latimer Clark, Muirhead and Co) with whom he carried on business as an electrical engineer.

Mr. Muirhead will, however, be best remembered as the introducer - in conjunction with his brother, Dr. Alexander Muirhead - of the system of duplex working through submarine cables, which practically doubles the number of messages passing through the wire in a given time. This system, which is now in general use by the various cable companies, was first adopted by the late Sir John Pender on the Anglo-Indian cables, where it was worked in conjunction with Lord Kelvin’s siphon recorder.

Mr. Muirhead died, from Bright’s disease, at his residence, 20 Lower Belgrave Street, S.W., on the 21st of November, 1895. He was a man of great energy and business capacity, and his death at the age of fifty, after only a few weeks’ illness, was a severe shock to his many friends.

Mr. Muirhead was elected a Member on the 27th of May, 1884.



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