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Magnus Ohren

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Magnus Ohren (1821-1907)

1907 Obituary [1]

MAGNUS OHREN, who was descended from an old Swedish family, was born at Rotherhithe, where his father followed the occupation of wharfinger, on the 8th December, 1821.

His connection with the gas industry commenced with his apprenticeship in 1837 to Mr. Geddie Pearse, the Engineer-in-Chief of the British Gas Company, whose London works were in School House Lane, Ratcliff.

He remained with the Company until 1846, when he went to Hamburg to assist in lighting the city with gas, but on his return to England in 1850, he was re-engaged by Mr. Pearse.

The works of the Company becoming eventually too small to meet the requirements of the district, they were acquired by the Commercial Gas Company, to whom Mr. Ohren transferred his services, being appointed Superintendent of his old district as well as of Millwall. In this capacity, he carried out a very successful piece of work in the laying of a 10-inch main in East India Road, to afford a better supply of gas to Millwall from Stepney; thereby obviating the large capital outlay required for the erection of works at the former place, which had been in contemplation.

The Crystal Palace District (now the South Suburban Gas Company) was formed in 1854; and in the following year Mr. Ohren was appointed Manager of the works. He subsequently became Secretary, and discharged the duties of the two offices until 1865, when they were divided owing to the rapid growth of the undertaking. Mr. Ohren retained the secretaryship until the autumn of 1893, when, having reached his seventy-second year, and his health being much impaired, he sent in his resignation, which was accepted with great regret.

Mr. Ohren was well known in gas-engineering circles, alike from his technical and financial connection with the industry; and by all he was highly respected. He was one of the founders of the Society of Engineers, and was a Fellow of the Chemical Society and the Royal Sanitary Institute. He acted as President of the British Association of Gas Managers in 1870, and subsequently joined the Gas Institute and the Institution of Gas Engineers. He was an auditor of several gas companies. Mr. Ohren was a prominent and active Freemason, and served several offices in connection with the craft.

He died at his residence at Forest Hill on the 21st March, 1907, in his eighty-sixth year.

Mr. Ohren was elected an Associate of The Institution on the 11th January, 1859, and was subsequently placed in the class of Associate Members.

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