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British Industrial History

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Percival John Pringle

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Percival John Pringle (1870-1830)


1930 Obituary [1]

PERCIVAL JOHN PRINGLE became a prominent figure in Australian engineering circles, largely as a result of his authoritative knowledge of the incidence of the wages board system and economic questions generally. As a result of his consistent representations, he was responsible for the establishment by the Arbitration Court of differential wages for the provinces as against the rates ruling in Melbourne.

Mr. Pringle was born at Stoke-on-Trent in 1870.

In 1889 he was engaged as works manager to Messrs. Drake and Gorham of Birmingham.

Five years later he was appointed assistant engineer with the Brush Electrical Engineering Company and subsequently acted as resident engineer in charge of the erection of power station plant at a number of towns in England. He afterwards accepted the post of borough electrical engineer and tramways manager at Burton-on-Trent where he remained for six years prior to leaving this country.

Subsequent to his arrival in Australia he acted as consulting engineer to the Melbourne Tramway Board on two large arbitrations, involving the whole of the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company's assets.

Nineteen years ago he was appointed manager of the Ballarat and Bendigo electric light and tramway services whose business rapidly expanded and became prosperous under his management. Due to his initiative a new power plant and high-tension mains were installed to serve Ballarat with light and power.

Mr. Pringle became a Member of the Institution in 1906 and he was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and of the Institution of Engineers of Australia.

He died on 10th June 1930.


1930 Obituary [2]

PERCIVAL JOHN PRINGLE died in Switzerland on the 10th June, 1930, in his 60th year, while returning from Australia to England on a business visit.

Born in 1870, after a short course of electrical training at the School of Electrical Engineering in Hanover Square he became a pupil of Messrs. Dubs and Co., Glasgow, and was subsequently engaged in research work with Prof. G. Forbes.

In 1890 he joined the staff of Messrs. Drake and Gorham and was rapidly promoted to the position of manager of their Birmingham works.

Later, in the service of the Brush Electrical Engineering Co., he was in charge of the erection of the Wandsworth central station and of extension plants for the Sheffield, Huddersfield, Leicester, and Watford undertakings.

As a resident engineer in the employ of Messrs. Kincaid, Waller, Manville and Dawson he supervised the whole of the power scheme of the Midland Electric Power Corporation. He designed and patented the Pringle and Kent surface contact system of electric traction.

In 1903 he took up the position of electrical engineer and tramways manager to the Burton-on-Trent Corporation.

He resigned this position in 1911 to go to Australia as general manager and chief engineer of the Electric Supply Co. of Victoria, Ltd. As arbitrator in connection with tramway labour disputes he figured prominently in Australian public affairs.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1895, an Associate Member in 1899, and a Member in 1902.


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