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British Industrial History

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Wallace Bentley

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Wallace Bentley (c1863-1935)

1935 Obituary [1]

WALLACE BENTLEY will be remembered for his series of engineering textbooks and his "Machine Shop Companion," which were due to a resolve in early life to put such books within the reach of all engineering students.

For over forty years he was in business on his own account as a consulting engineer in Halifax and was responsible for the layout of several foundries and engineering works. He also specialized in mechanical installations for dyeing, in textile and boot-nailing machinery, and in plant for the manufacture of lead cisterns; and he supervised the design of many products in connexion with the local machine tool and boiler trades.

He served his apprenticeship with Mr. M. Holroyd Smith, M.I.Mech.E., and was afterwards employed by him as a draughtsman. Mr. Smith was experimenting with electric traction, then in its infancy, in Halifax, Manchester, and Blackpool. During the construction of the first electric tramways in Blackpool, Mr. Bentley acted as chief assistant. He was also associated with Mr. Smith in the founding of the engineering classes at the Halifax Mechanics' Institute. In 1885 he became a lecturer to the classes, which were subsequently transferred to Halifax Technical College, where Mr. Bentley was appointed first head of the engineering department. In addition to his consulting work, Mr. Bentley was Yorkshire correspondent for the American Machinist.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1896, and was transferred to Associate Membership in 1897. In 1900 he was transferred to Membership.

His death occurred in Halifax on 16th November 1935, in his seventy-second year.

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