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British Industrial History

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Robert Henry Thorpe

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Robert Henry Thorpe (c1861-1937) of Otis Elevator Co

1937 Obituary [1]

MANY of our readers will learn with regret of the sudden death in a London nursing home, on Monday, March 29th, of Mr. Robert Henry Thorpe, who for many years has been associated with the Waygood-Otis Company and was a pioneer worker in the design and construction of hydraulic and electric lifts.

Mr. Thorpe, who was seventy-six years of age, served his apprenticeship with James Simpson and Sons, of London, and was articled to the late Sir Joseph Bazalgette, under whom he served as assistant engineer on the main drainage of Western Kent, and later in America on the New York West Shore scheme, and on the Hudson River Railway.

He began his business as a lift engineer in London and at a later date moved to New York, but he returned to England and took a leading part in the design and installation of special lifts for the underground railways and for other purposes, such as the lifts for the Glasgow Harbour Tunnel.

Mr. Thorpe was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

He was vice-president of the Otis Elevator Company of New York, and a director of Waygood-Otis, Ltd., of London, and Waygood-Otis (South Africa), and the Rodney Foundry Company, Ltd., of Deptford.

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