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William Charles Mountain

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William Charles Mountain (1862-1928) of Ernest Scott and Mountain

1862 Born in Birmingham, son of Charles George Mountain and Elizabeth Agnesse[1].

1911 Managing director of engineering company, living in Newcastle upon Tyne, with Grace Bindley Mountain 49 and Kenneth Arthur Mountain 23, electrical designer[2]

1928 Obituary [3]

WILLIAM CHARLES MOUNTAIN entered his father's firm of Messrs. May and Mountain of Birmingham at the age of 15 in 1877, and served a five years' apprenticeship in general engineering work.

He was afterwards appointed engineer and finally became managing director of the Gulcher Electric Light and Power Company of Battersea. Whilst with this firm he designed the alternators, and the transformers for placing on the poles in the streets, for the City of Wellington Electric Light Company.

In 1888 he entered into partnership with Mr. Ernest Scott of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and he achieved considerable success in the application of electrical machinery for the pumping of water from colliery workings.

In 1912 Mr. Mountain commenced practice as a consulting engineer on his own behalf, later in 1924 taking his son and son-in-law into partnership to form the company W. C. Mountain, Son and Wood. He acted as electrical expert to the Mining Association of Great Britain in connection with the first set of Electricity Rules in Mines in 1904, and again in a similar capacity in 1911.

Mr. Mountain was a recognized authority in electric winding, haulage, pumping and coal cutting, and at one time delivered a course of three lectures at the University College, Nottingham.

He died on 26th January 1928 and had been a Member of the Institution since 1886.

He was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

1928 Obituary [4]

WILLIAM CHARLES MOUNTAIN was born in Birmingham on the 16th April, 1862.

He completed his education at Sutton Court School, Chiswick, and then served a full apprenticeship with the firm of May and Mountain, general engineers carrying on business in Birmingham. During this time he obtained very considerable experience in the manufacture of horizontal steam engines, boilers, rolling-mill machinery, flour-mill plant, coining presses and general work, also capstans and windlasses for the Admiralty.

His father disposed of his business in 1882 to Messrs. Harfield and Co. of London, and Mr. W. C. Mountain was offered the management but declined to accept it as he felt that there was a much greater field in electrical work.

He obtained in 1883 the appointment of engineer, and, later, that of general manager, and, finally, managing director, in the Gulcher Electric Light and Power Co., Ltd., of Battersea. He remained with this firm for a period of five years, during which time, due largely to his engineering experience, he introduced a great many improvements in the mechanical and electrical design of dynamos, motors and arc lamps. While with this firm he designed the alternators and also the transformers for placing on poles in the streets for the City of Wellington Electric Light Co., the generators being driven by water turbines supplied by Messrs. Gilbert Gilkes and Co.

In January 1888 he joined Mr. Ernest Scott, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, as partner, the firm being known as Ernest Scott and Co. Shortly afterwards it was made into a limited company under the name of Ernest Scott and Mountain, Ltd. The firm at that date manufactured marine engines, Admiralty auxiliary machinery, including pumps, and also did a very considerable business in gunmetal and brass castings. Mr. Mountain introduced the electrical side of the business and designed the dynamos, motors, etc., which the firm manufactured.

About this time the Chairman of the Cowpen Coal Co. wanted water removed from a section of the North Seaton pit by means of electric power if possible, and the contract for this work was undertaken, the pump being of the 3-throw type of a capacity of 500 gallons per minute against a head of about 100 ft. The pump was driven by an electric motor through worm gearing from an engine on the surface 1.75 miles from the pump. This plant was most successful and at that time was the first serious attempt at colliery pumping in this country.

Shortly after this the firm supplied the pumping plant for the Victoria pit of the Lowthian Coal Co., Newbattle. This was followed by a complete endless-rope haulage installation for the Broughton and Plas Power Coal Co., the haulage gear being of the 3-wheel type of 200 h.p. and driven from the generators on the surface. This plant was again so successful that the company extended the electrification to their pits at Gatewen and other collieries.

From this time the electrical work of the company gradually grew and as the firm were in a position to manufacture their own pumps, haulage gears, high-speed engines, etc., they were in an exceptional position. This continued until 1912, when Mr. Mountain decided to resign his position with the company and commenced practice on his own behalf as a consulting engineer, later taking his son and son-in-law into partnership, and being chiefly engaged on mining work. He acted as electrical expert to the Mining Association of Great Britain in connection with the first set of Electricity Regulations in Mines in 1904 and again in 1911, and dealt with other matters in connection with these Regulations from time to time.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1888 and a Member in 1899, and served for several years on the Committee of the Newcastle Local Section (now North-Eastern Centre), being chairman in 1912-13. He also took an active interest in the formation of the Association of Mining Electrical Engineers.

1928 Obituary [5]

WILLIAM C. MOUNTAIN died in his sixty-seventh year at Newcastle on January 26, 1928, after an illness lasting for about three years.

At the age of fourteen he entered his father's business, Messrs. May and Mountain, of Birmingham, and served his apprenticeship in the various departments.

Eight years later he joined the Gulcher Electric Light and Power Co., Ltd., as engineer and works manager, becoming later the managing director. In 1888 he joined Mr. Ernest Scott, of the Close Works, Newcastle; two years later the firm was converted into a limited liability company with Mr. Mountain as managing director.

In 1902 he was selected by the coalowners' association of Northumberland and Durham as one of their representatives on the advisory committee in connection with the Home Office inquiry into the application of electricity in mines, and was shortly afterwards appointed electrical expert to the Mining Association of Great Britain. He was a member of the Institution of Mining Engineers, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and the North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders.

Since 1919 he had been a magistrate for the city of Newcastle.

He joined the Iron and Steel Institute in 1915.

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