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British Industrial History

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Robert Henry Bryans

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Robert Henry Bryans (c1862-1944)

1945 Obituary [1]

ROBERT HENRY BRYANS, after a long illness, died at Reading on the 16th November, 1944, at the age of 82. He was educated at Durham College under Dr. Stroud and Prof. Weighton, and served an apprenticeship with John Dickinson and George Clark of Sunderland. With the latter he continued as Chief Draughtsman. Then followed nearly two years with Hawthorn and Leslie, and three years with Harland and Wolff at Belfast. After a short period with Wigham-Richardson and Co. in 1894, he became assistant draughtsman and then Chief Draughtsman to C. A. Parsons and Co., playing a leading part in the design of the Parsons turbine. From 1900 to 1923 he was with the Metropolitan Electric Supply Co. The first twelve years of this period saw vast changes in method: systems were changed from direct-current to alternating-current; frequencies were changed from 100 c/s to 60 c/s and then to 50 c/s; reciprocating engines were replaced by turbines. The last years of his working life were spent with A. Reyrolle and Co., from whose service he retired in 1931. It was fitting that he should have ended his career with that firm, as he had done much original work on switchgear design in Reyrolle's early days.

Bryans was first and foremost a man of high ideals which he followed through all his life and in all his work. He was also blessed with a sense of humour and a happy gift of mimicry. His stories about his work with Charles Parsons were full of humour and priceless information.

He joined The Institution as an Associate Member in 1913 and was elected a Member in 1920.

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