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British Industrial History

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William Edward Burgess

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William Edward Burgess (1868-1896)

1897 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM EDWARD BURGESS was born in Bedfordshire on the 22nd May, 1868, and was educated at Bedford Modern School and at the City and Guilds of London Institute, where he gained considerable distinction.

After taking charge for a time of the testing of materials at the Royal Indian Engineering College, Coopers Hill, he entered in 1889 the service of Messrs. Willans and Robinson, with whom he remained until December, 1893. During that period he assisted Mr. Willans in carrying out the series of condensing steam-engine trials, which formed the subject of a Paper read before the Institution in April, 1893, and in the same year he superintended the erection and running of Messrs. Willans and Robinson’s exhibit of engines at the World's Fair, Chicago.

At the end of 1893 Mr. Burgess entered the service of the M. C. Bullock Manufacturing Company, of Chicago, which had secured the right to construct the Willans engine in the United States. From that time he had charge of the Willans engine department of that Company’s works, and assisted in the design and erection of important electrical installations, such as the Pabst plant at Milwaukee, the street railway in Terre Haute, and the Hyde Park works in Chicago.

While engaged on work for the Englewood and Chicago Street Railway Company he was attacked by typhoid fever, which proved fatal on the 10th November, 1896.

Mr. Burgess was elected an Associate Member on the 1st May, 1894.

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