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Henry Daniel Wilkinson

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Henry Daniel Wilkinson (1857-1932), consultant electrical engineer and authority on theatre lighting

1932 Obituary [1]

HENRY DANIEL WILKINSON devoted the whole of his career to electrical engineering and had acquired a valuable experience of cable-laying, lighting, interference, and other electrical problems when he first set up practice as a consulting engineer.

He was trained with the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company and took part in submarine cable-laying and repairing in Burmese and Chinese waters.

Upon his return to England in 1882 he became an instructor at the School of Electrical Engineering at Hanover Square, and five years afterwards commenced a further period of apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer with Messrs. Davey Paxman and Company.

After further experience at the Royal Naval Exhibition, Chelsea, and the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1892, where he acted for the firm, he became an assistant to Mr. W. H. Massey, M.I.Mech.E., in connexion with the electric lighting scheme of the Cardiff Corporation.

In the following year he became engineer to the British commission at the World's Fair Exposition at Chicago, and whilst in America visited a number of large cities to study electric tramway systems, especially in regard to the return circuit and electrolytic troubles, on which he read a paper before the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1894.

In 1894 he was appointed a technical representative of Messrs. Willans and Robinson.

After a further year's experience as engineer at power stations of the Westminster Electricity Supply Corporation, he commenced his consulting practice. He acted as expert in the Eastern and South African Telegraph Company's tramway disturbances case at Cape Town, and visited many other towns abroad in connexion with projected tramway schemes. He acted as inspecting engineer to several South African municipalities and was an expert on theatre lighting.

Mr. Wilkinson was the author of books on submarine cable laying and repairing and electric lifts.

He was born in 1857 and died suddenly on 24th February 1932.

He had been a Member of the Institution since 1903 and was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

1932 Obituary[2]


Mr. Henry Daniel Wilkinson, who died at Streatham, on Wednesday, February 24, at the age of 74, was a consulting electrical engineer of very varied experience, and will probably be remembered by the older generation as an authority on the laying of submarine cables, though in later years he had devoted himself almost entirely to the heavy-current side of the industry.

Mr. Wilkinson was born in London on September 4 1857, and was educated at the Cowper-street School. He then entered the service of the Eastern Extension Telegraph Co and was engaged with them on the erection and maintenance of the station, instruments and circuits at Singapore and Penang. He also took part in the laying of cables, and in various surveying and repairing expeditions, in Burmese and Chinese waters. On his return to this country, he acted as instructor in electrical engineering at the School of Electrical Engineering in Hanover-square, and, in 1889, erected the engines and other plant exhibited by Messrs. Davey, Paxman and Company at the .Pans Exposition. He also acted as mechanical and electrical engineer to the executive of the Royal Naval Exhibition at Chelsea in 1891, and received a diploma for his services. After -assisting Mr. W. H. Massey in the preliminary work connected with an electric light scheme for Cardiff, he visited the United States to investigate the electrolytic troubles which had arisen on many of the tramway systems of that country. The results of these investigations were embodied in a paper which he read before the Institution of Electrical Engineers on his return, and for which he received an Institution Premium.

After acting for a short time as technical representative of Messrs. Willans and Robinson for power station work, he joined the Westminster Electric Supply Corporation, but shortly afterwards returned to telegraphy when he was called in by the Eastern and South African Telegraph Company to investigate the interference caused to their circuits by the Cape Town tramways. He then set up in practice as a consulting engineer, and for many years had acted in that capaeity to the Birmingham University, the Whiteley Homes Trustees, the Alhambra Theatre Company, the Eastern Telegraph Company, and other bodies.

Mr. Wilkinson was elected a member óf the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1903 and of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1886. He was the author of a well-known text-book on “ Submarine Cable Laying and Repairing,” and of other works. Only a few weeks ago he entered into partnership with Messrs. Maekness and Shipley."

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