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British Industrial History

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William Carnegie

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William Carnegie (1872-1935)


1935 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM CARNEGIE, M.B.E., was born in Aberdeen in 1872.

He entered the mechanical department of Messrs. Alexander Pirie and Sons, Ltd., in 1886, and served for two years, after which he came to London and joined the electrical department of Messrs. T. Pressland and Company.

Subsequently he was engaged on the manufacture of electrical machines and instruments for Messrs. Coggan and Company, and later for Messrs. Stephen Smith and Company.

In 1892 he obtained an appointment in the Royal Laboratory, Woolwich Arsenal, under Mr. J. M. Ledingham, M.I.Mech.E. He was then specially engaged on an experimental automatic gun, patented by Dr. H. T. Ashton, mechanical adviser to the superintendent of the Laboratory.

In 1899 Mr. Carnegie turned to educational work and was appointed lecturer in the engineering department of Woolwich Polytechnic. He became chief lecturer in 1903, and also took charge of the new engineering laboratories, which he equipped.

A year later he was made manager of the Engineering Department of the Royal Laboratory, under the late Sir Frederick Donaldson, M.I.Mech.E. (Past-President) and held that position for ten years.

He then went into business in London on his own account as a consulting engineer, and was concerned with the design and layout of various steelworks.

During the War he relinquished his practice and took charge of the shell department of Messrs. Cammell, Laird and Company at Sheffield; he was awarded the M.B.E. in 1918 for his work in connexion with the production of munitions. In the same year he was appointed general manager of Messrs. Cammell, Laird's steel and ordnance works at Grimesthorpe, with responsibility for the foundries, the tyre and spring departments, the forge and machine shops, and the drawing office; the total number of employees was over 6,000.

In 1927 Mr. Carnegie retired and lived at Lee, London. He became a director of the Whitstable Electric Company, to whom he also acted as consultant.

His death occurred at Lee on 25th July 1935.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1901 and was transferred to Membership in 1905; he was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.


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