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British Industrial History

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William John Tennant

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William John Tennant (1866-1951)

1951 Obituary [1]

1952 Obituary [2]

"WILLIAM JOHN TENNANT, who died on 8th February 1951 at the age of eighty-five, started his professional life at the drawing board with a firm of consulting civil engineers. This was in 1877, and in 1883 he adopted consultative work himself, subsequently becoming partner in a firm of patent agents under the name of Boult, Wade and Tennant. As senior partner of the firm he rose to be a leader in the patent world, particularly, though not exclusively, in the field of automobile patents.

He was a Member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers soon after its inception, a member of council in 1927, and a vice-president in 1930. He was a leading figure in the Junior Institution of Engineers and became a popular President of that Institution in 1933; he also served for a time on the Board of Management of the Royal Institution.

Mr. Tennant was a man of outstanding personality and of very wide interests and it was very appropriately said of him at the time of his Presidency of the Junior Institution of Engineers : "He is a man to be relied upon to do the right thing in an emergency and one of the most interesting and companionable of men".

Towards the end of his life his activities were handicapped by failing sight, but to his many friends he leaves an impression of a commanding figure, full of vitality and energy—radiating kindness and courtesy wherever he went."

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