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John William Ullett

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John William Ullett (1859-1923)

1923 Obituary [1]

JOHN WILLIAM ULLETT was born in 1859 at Higney Grange, Huntingdonshire, and was educated at the Merchant Taylors' School, London, and the School of Telegraphy, Hanover-square, W.

His engineering career began in 1879 when he joined the Telephone Co., Ltd., London. He was thus closely associated with the telephone industry from the start and was responsible for the design of many of the earliest types of apparatus.

Not a little credit is due to him for his pioneer work in this direction. He took a prominent part in designing the various systems of working the telephone service, notably in connection with the development in this country of the multiple switchboard, and devoted much time to original research.

During the period 1889-93, when the majority of subscribers' lines were single wires with earth return, Mr. Ullett, associated with other engineers of the telephone companies, carried out a great deal of investigation work with the object of perfecting the design of a telephone transformer which could be used for the purpose of connecting these single-lines to metallic circuit junctions and trunks.

He also took an active part in the development of the differential transformer which made phantom working practicable and enabled the National Telephone Co. to adopt it on many junction and trunk lines. His energies, however, were not confined to the apparatus side only; he was engaged in the early eighties in erecting junction lines in London, and a few years later the first trunk circuits between the metropolis and the north of England.

In 1893 he planned and took charge of the National Telephone Co.'s factory at Nottingham, and in 1901, in order to cope with the largely increased demand, additional works were established under his direction at Beeston for the manufacture of new apparatus, only repair work remaining at the Nottingham factory.

Both establishments were controlled by Mr. Ullett until 1903, when the British L. M. Ericsson Manufacturing Co., Ltd., took over the Beeston works. Mr. Ullett was then transferred to this company as works manager, which position he held until 1918, and under his management these works were considerably extended and improved.

During the war Mr. Ullett was a member of the Advisory Committee which equipped and controlled the Nottingham National Shell Factory. His intimate knowledge of factory costings was of the greatest value and the factory soon became noted as one in which the production costs were kept extremely low.

In 1919 Mr. Ullett was engaged by Mr. T. G. Small, ex-Mayor of Nottingham, as engineering adviser for several industrial. concerns under the latter's control, and was appointed managing director of the Amos Tatham Needle Co., Ltd., Ilkeston ; under his charge this business was extended considerably overseas.

He was also consulting engineer to the Jacoby Bleaching Co., Ltd., Daybrook, Nottingham.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1884 and became a Member in 1891. He was elected Chairman of the East Midland Sub-Centre for the session 1923-24, but owing to his tragic death at Bournemouth station on the 24th September he never actually occupied the chair. A man of sterling character, keen in his profession, kind and unassuming in disposition, his sudden death has created a deep sense of loss in a wide circle

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