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British Industrial History

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William Henry Collis

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William Henry Collis (1865-1944)

1945 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM HENRY COLLIS was born at Stourbridge on the 31st March, 1865, and died at Liverpool on the 23rd April, 1944. He was educated at Leamington, at Charterhouse, where he won a science exhibition, and at King's College, London, where he won the Jelf Medal and a half-share in the Sambrooke Exhibition. In 1886 he joined the staff of Clarke, Chapman, Parsons and Co., Gateshead-on-Tyne, as an installations engineer, and he was put in charge of their electric lighting plant at the Newcastle-on-Tyne Exhibition of 1887. The following year he was appointed Chief Inspector of Mains to the Liverpool Electric Supply Co., and later he was put in charge of motor installation work. In 1898 he was appointed Electrical Superintendent of Liverpool Corporation Tramways, and was thus responsible for maintaining the city's first electric tramcars. After some years he was transferred to the Corporation Electric Supply Department, ultimately becoming Deputy City Electrical Engineer, from which post he retired in 1925.

He was a good classical scholar, and he maintained his interest in the classics throughout his engineering career. He was also a great lover of the Swiss Engadine, upon the scenery and life of which he lectured extensively, and his enthusiasm, assisted by his excellent photography, brought a breath of mountain air to many in drab surroundings.

He joined The Institution as a Student in 1885 and was elected an Associate in 1888 and a Member in 1898.

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