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William Johnson Alcock

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William Johnson Alcock (c1876-1940)


1940 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM JOHNSON ALCOCK had for many years been associated with the Indian sugar industry, and had been instrumental in developing it from a small industry to one of national importance. At the time of his death he held the technical control of six of the largest Indian sugar factories, and had been instrumental in effecting many improvements in the cane itself, the method of the manufacture of sugar, and the process plant. As a consulting engineer he was also concerned with the manufacture of paper and chemical products, and it was only the outbreak of the present war which prevented him from putting into effect important schemes for the manufacture of steel and alkali.

It was largely owing to his insistence of the importance of the heavy chemical industry for the country that the Government of India consented to remove its ban on the local manufacture of bleaching powder and other heavy chemicals. When the South African war was declared he was a departmental manager of National Explosives, Ltd., Hayle, Cornwall, a company which produced sulphuric and nitric acids, and during the 1914-18 war he was engaged by Lord Moulton for the design of high explosive factories and was subsequently attached to the Belgian Government in order to design, erect, and operate a factory for the manufacture of trinitrotoluol. His services were also lent during the same period to the Government of India for the purpose of investigating the possibility of the manufacture of trinitrotoluol in India.

Mr. Alcock was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1925, and died in Calcutta on 8th July 1940 at the age of 64.


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