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British Industrial History

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Albert Southworth

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Albert Southworth (1900-1947)

1948 Obituary.[1]

ALBERT SOUTHWORTH, B.Eng., was born in 1900, and died suddenly on the 20th August, 1947. He joined the Royal Artillery from school at the age of 16, and fought in France with that corps. Upon demobilization in 1919, he entered Liverpool University, where he gained his degree, with honours in mathematics. After preliminary training at the Dick, Kerr works, Preston, he became Chief of Test there, and then moved to Bradford to specialize in the design of traction equipment. He transferred to the General Electric Co., Witton, in 1936 as Head of the Traction Motor Design Department, and during the late war also became responsible for the development of a number of secret equipments, including large searchlights and heavy electronic control-gear. Upon the death of Dr. M. L. Kahn in September, 1945, he was appointed to succeed him as Chief Engineer, and during the short space of about two years he carried out an immense amount of highly successful work. He was the leader of Team No. 10 of the Control Commission for Germany, covering rotating machinery, transformers and electric traction; shortly afterwards he paid a visit to America. In both cases he was responsible for the compilation and issue of a great deal of valuable information. At the same time, he was actively engaged upon new designs of large turbo-alternators, in addition to other smaller plant. His untimely death occurred shortly after his return from America, while he was at the height of his activities and apparently in the enjoyment of perfect health.

Whatever he had to do, he never spared himself in his efforts to render the best possible service to his firm and his colleagues. Of a very amiable disposition, he won the support of his associates as well as his staff by his obvious sincerity and efficiency. His loss will long be felt, not only as an engineer of high achievement and greater promise, but also as a friend. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.

He joined The Institution as a Student in 1922 and was elected a Graduate in 1931, an Associate Member in the same year and a Member in 1945.

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