Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,384 pages of information and 211,458 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
William Albert James London (1877-1929)
1929 Obituary 
WILLIAM JAMES ALBERT LONDON, works manager of the Reider-Ericsson Company, New York, died suddenly at Walden, New York, on 17th November 1929.
He was born in London in 1877 and was apprenticed in 1893 to Messrs. C. and A. Parsons and Company at Newcastle-on-Tyne, where he also attended classes at Armstrong College.
Upon the completion of his apprenticeship he became a leading draughtsman and was thus associated with the early stages of the development of the reaction turbine.
Between 1900 and 1902 he was with Messrs. Brown, Boveri and Company, and in the latter year joined the British Westinghouse Company of Trafford Park, to whom he became responsible for steam-turbine development.
In 1906 Mr. George Westinghouse became impressed with Mr. London's versatility as a designer, and transferred him to the East Pittsburgh Works of the Westinghouse Machine Company, where he carried out some experimental work in connexion with marine propulsion.
Upon completion of this work, he accepted in 1908 the position of chief engineer to the Terry Steam Turbine Company of Hartford, Conn. He was at that time building small single-wheel turbines of the general type developed by Riedler-Stumpf in Germany. Mr. London developed for the Terry Company a series of multiple-stage turbines adaptable to condensing service, which embodied a considerable measure of simplification and standardization of design.
In 1915, after a period of consulting service for the Sterling Blower Company, he joined the General Electrical Company at Lynn, Mass., where for a year he was in charge of design work on turbines of the smaller type.
In 1916 he organized the Steam Motors Company of Massachusetts, for whom he acted as chief engineer and general manager from 1917 to 1922. During those years the firm built some 400 steam-turbines of up to about 300 h.p. capacity. These turbines were of low cost, and were constructed for direct connexion with the auxiliary plant. The Steam Motors Company having been taken over by the Troy Machine Company, Mr. London then organized the London Steam Turbine Company, which continued the construction of small turbines until 1923.
Mr. London also carried out, in connexion with the Combustion Engineering Company, the construction of coal pulverizers, and in later years devoted most of his time to consulting work for the Combustion Engineering Company.
In 1927 he undertook further development work in connexion with coal pulverization at the works of the Reider-Ericsson Company in association with the Peabody Engineering Company, and at the successful conclusion of these tests he took up, in January 1929, the position which he held at the time of his death.
Mr. London, who was a prolific patentee and the author of many Papers on steam-turbine design and coal pulverization, became an Associate Member of the Institution in 1903.
He was also a Member of the American. Society of Mechanical Engineers and served as a member of the subcommittee of steam-turbines of the Power Test Codes Committee of that Society.