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William Albert White

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William Albert White (1879-1940) of White's Marine Engineering Co


1940 Obituary [1]


1940 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM ALBERT WHITE, who was well known for his contributions to marine engineering, particularly the White "Economy" engine and the White oil-burning system, was born in Sunderland in 1879. He served his apprenticeship at the Middle Docks and Engineering Company, Ltd., South Shields, from 1895 to 1900, and then went to sea as third engineer, subsequently obtaining his Board of Trade certificates as second, chief, and extra chief engineer.

In 1904 he was employed on installing and running turbines in destroyers, for Messrs. C. A. Parsons, Ltd., and was guarantee engineer on the first turbine vessel crossing the Atlantic. He superintended the construction and installation of the first marine turbines built in the U.S.A. and from 1910 to 1916 was the owner of marine repair works in New York. He then disposed of the business and returned to England.

Mr. White invented a patent oil-burning system, and installed it in many vessels he also invented a pulverizer, and the White patent compound steam engine. In 1918 he took charge of the building of several oil storage depots at Southampton, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Avonmouth for the British Mexican Petroleum Company.

He founded, in 1922, White's Oil Burning Company, later incorporated in White's Marine Engineering Company, Ltd. The firm established new works at Hebburn-on-Tyne, and in 1934 the cargo steamer Adderstone received Mr. White's system of high-speed high-pressure reciprocating engines, exhausting into a low-pressure turbine which was geared to the propeller shaft.

Mr. White was chairman and managing director of the firm until his death, which occurred on 9th June 1940. He was also chairman of the White Shipping Company, Ltd., and a director of several other companies.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1934 and was also a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects.


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