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British Industrial History

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Robert Francis Hayward

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Robert Francis Hayward (1865-1924)

1924 Obituary [1]

ROBERT FRANCIS HAYWARD, who died in London on the 10th April, 1924, was born in 1865 and was educated at Harrow School, passing thence to University College, London, where he held the Gilchrist Engineering Scholarship.

After serving his apprenticeship with Messrs. Crompton and Co. at Chelmsford, he became their works manager in 1890, and left in 1894 for the United States to take up the position of general manager of the Salt Lake and Ogden Gas and Electric Light Co.

In this capacity, and subsequently as chief engineer of the Utah Light and Railway Co., he was responsible for a considerable amount of pioneer work in connection with high-tension transmission.

In 1905 he left the United States to join the Mexican Light and Power Co. in Mexico City as their general manager, and the four years for which he remained with this company was a period of great development of their hydro-electric system, which is now one of the largest in Latin America.

From 1909 until 1920 he was chief engineer and general manager of the Western Canada Power Co., furnishing bulk power to the British Columbia Electric Railway Co. and the Vancouver district generally from a 40 000-h.p. hydro-electric plant at Stave Falls.

When the control of the Chilian Electric Tramway and Light Co. and the Cia. Nacional de Fuerza Electrica passed to the S. Pearson and Son interests, and the Cia. Chilena de Electricidad was formed, he was appointed general manager and occupied that position until a few months before his death. This covered three years of intense construction activity, including the transformation of the whole distribution system of the city of Santiago, the erection of 110 000-volt transmission lines from the Andes to Santiago and Valparaiso, the addition to the system of a 35 000-h.p. hydro-electric plant, and considerable extensions to the steam station.

He was of the best type of travelled Englishman, possessing a charming personality, wide knowledge, and a sterling character, and will be greatly missed by a host of friends in all the countries to which his work took him.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1912.

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