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Victor Albert Hill McCowen

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Victor Albert Hill McCowen (1865-1910), Borough Engineer of Salford

1911 Obituary [1]

V. A. H. McCOWEN was born at Tralee in 1866 and educated in Dublin.

He spent eight years at mechanical engineering, and afterwards two years at Finsbury Technical College under Professor Thompson.

He then joined the staff of J. H. Gordon & Co., London, and was employed on several lighting schemes, being engineer in charge of the Sydenham undertaking.

In 1892 he became engineer to the Killarney Electric Light Company, and in 1894 City Engineer of Belfast, where he superintended the original gas-engine scheme devised by Sir Alexander Kennedy. He was also for twelve years the City Council's consulting engineer.

He received in 1907 the appointment of Borough Engineer of Salford, but a year or two later he was seized with paralysis, and was eventually compelled to leave his work.

He died at Bath on September 8, 1910.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1890, and transferred to Membership in 1898.

1911 Obituary [2]

VICTOR ALBERT HILL MCCOWEN was born at Tralee, Ireland, on 15th December 1865, and received his early education locally.

At the age of sixteen he entered the engineering works of Messrs. McCowen and Sons, Tralee, as draughtsman and assistant engineer, superintending the erection of mill machinery, engines, etc.

From 1888 to 1891 he studied at the Finsbury Technical College, London, and then became assistant engineer on the staff of the late Messrs. J. E. H. Gordon and Co., of Pall Mall, London, electrical engineers, being employed in the designing and estimating department.

In 1892 he was in charge of the mains to the Electrical Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, and for a short time he was engineer-in-charge at the Sydenham District Electric Supply Station, and subsequently was one of the superintending engineers on the Bray electric lighting scheme. From 1892 to 1894 he acted as chief engineer to the Killarney Electric Light Co., and designed and carried out the scheme, including the construction of water-races, erection of turbines and electric machinery, etc.

In 1894 he was appointed City Electrical Engineer to the Belfast Corporation, and superintended the erection of Professor (now Sir Alexander) Kennedy's gas-engine scheme, on which subject he read a Paper at the Summer Meeting of this Institution in Belfast.

Subsequently he designed and carried out the erection of a large steam-driven generating station for the supply of power and light at Belfast.

He also carried out the electrification of the Belfast City tramways, including the overhead equipment, underground feeder system, and the generating station.

In 1907 he was appointed Borough Electrical Engineer for Salford, which position he held until August 1910.

His death took place at Bath on 8th September 1910, in Isis forty-fifth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1898; he was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

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