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British Industrial History

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John Ernest Billington

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John Ernest Billington (C1872-1937)

1937 Obituary [1]

JOHN ERNEST BILLINGTON was connected for a great many years with the Linotype and Machinery Company, Ltd., and was the holder of numerous patents in connexion with the firm's products. He was the inventor, in 1907, of the first triple-magazine linotype machine used in England; and three years later he invented the first quadruple-magazine machine. Mr. Billington was born at Crewe, where he entered the works of the London and North Western Railway as an apprentice in 1887. In 1898 he joined the Linotype and Machinery Company, at Altrincham, and except for a short period during 1900-1 when he was employed as engineer to Messrs. Pearsons Newspapers, Ltd., he remained with the firm until 1921. He was appointed chief draughtsman in 1906, and in 1919 he was promoted to be assistant superintendent. Two years later he returned to Crewe works as machinery expert and buyer, and was made a member of the reorganization committee which planned the new scheme of locomotive construction and repairs inaugurated in 1926. He introduced the issue of balance sheets and periodical returns showing the results of all money spent on new plant. He also invented a ferrule-cutting machine for the use of the boiler shop. In 1934 he rejoined the Linotype and Machinery Company and was in charge of the linotype experimental section of the drawing office at the works, until within a few months of his death, which occurred at Crewe on 22nd April 1937, in his sixty-fifth year.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1926.

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