Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Robertson Duigan

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John Robertson Duigan (1882-1951), early aviator

1882 Born in Australia (British subject)

1952 Obituary [1]

"JOHN ROBERTSON DUIGAN, M.C. , whose death occurred on 11th June 1951 at the age of sixty-nine, achieved the remarkable distinction of making a flight in Australia in an aircraft designed and built entirely by himself. The date of this feat was 30th September 1910. It is interesting that parts of the aircraft were made from fencing and piano wire, and steel bands from wool bales. The machine is now in the Technological Museum at Melbourne. He received his general education at Brighton Grammar School in Melbourne and his technical training at Finsbury Technical College, London, where he took a course in electrical engineering. He also attended classes at Battersea Polytechnic for instruction in motor engineering. Mr. Duigan returned to Australia in 1906 and joined G. Weymouth Pty., Ltd., Melbourne, electrical engineers, as a draughtsman, being also engaged on tests for the firm.

He visited England again in 1911 and after a course of instruction gained his pilot's certificate. In 1916 he joined the Australian Flying Corps and served in France until 1919. For his services he was awarded the Military Cross. After demobilization he was engaged for the rest of his career in the motor industry, being first employed on motor repairs in his own works, and subsequently was the proprietor of a motor garage and workshops. Mr. Duigan was elected an Associate Member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1929."

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