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British Industrial History

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Joseph Platt Hall

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Joseph Platt Hall (1864 - 1934), of J. P. Hall and Co.

1934 Obituary.[1]

JOSEPH PLATT HALL, son of the late William Hall, surgeon, of Salford, was born on the 8th September, 1864, and died on the 10th June, 1934, aged 69 years. On leaving school he was in 1881 apprenticed for 5 years to Messrs. Mather and Platt, of Salford. He passed through all the departments of the firm, but was especially attached to the electrical side, which in this country was not then very far advanced commercially. He took out his first patent in December, 1884, in conjunction with the late Holbrook Cushman, for the Cushman-Hall dynamo. Before leaving Messrs. Mather and Platt he went to Russia for that firm and erected electrical plant at Schlusselburg. He was subsequently employed by the Electric Portable Battery Co., Salford, as manager for about two years. Entering into partnership in Oldham with the late Mr. S. Charlesworth, under the name of Charlesworth, Hall and Co., he began to make dynamos, high-speed steam engines, and searchlight projectors. The firm was one of the first in this country to supply complete portable searchlight plants for the use of ships passing through the Suez Canal. In 1892 he started in business on his own account as J. P. Hall and Co., at Werneth, Oldham. The company gradually increased in size, and carried out contracts for the Government and for the principal engineering firms throughout the country. From its earliest days the firm specialized in the manufacture of motors for use in connection with electric cranes. When war broke out the firm was very early Government-controlled, and throughout worked practically day and night on the manufacture of electric motors for munition factories. Mr. Hall was not only an electrical engineer but also a mechanical engineer, and the combination of these qualities was the keynote of his firm's success. He sold the business in December, 1931, and retired to live in Shropshire, where he died.

He joined the Institution as a Member in 1900, being transferred from membership of the Northern Society of Electrical Engineers. He was very interested in archaeology and was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

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