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British Industrial History

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John William Francis Warren

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John William Francis Warren (1872-1950)

1950 Obituary.[1]

John William Francis Warren, who died on the 21st April, 1950, was born in Anatolia on the 14th January, 1872. He received his early education at the English Commercial School, Smyrna, his engineering education at Finsbury Technical College, and his practical training as an apprentice with J. G. Statter and Co., at West Drayton. After gaining further experience with various companies he became one of the pioneers of electrical engineering on the North East Coast in 1896, when he was appointed Power Installation Manager for D. Selby Bigge and Co., Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Two years later he founded the firm of Warren, Beattie and Co., Middlesbrough, and his technical knowledge secured for his company many important contracts for light and power installations in a number of shipyards, collieries and other industrial enterprises between Tyne and Tees. From 1911 to 1913, as a personal representative of the Managing Director of the British Westinghouse Co. he travelled in the Near East and in Bulgaria and Rumania. He then went to Johannesburg as local Manager for George Craddock and Co., rope makers, of Wakefield. During the First World War he was Manager of the Cleveland Metal Co., Stockton-on-Tees, and in 1921 he became a partner in the firm of Warren Bros., Middlesbrough.

When the establishment of the Grid necessitated modifications to most of the existing plant in the southern area of the North Eastern Electric Supply Co., important contracts were entrusted to Mr. Warren. As many as 5,000 motors, aggregating 100,000 h.p., and ranging from the motive power of rollingmills to small bacon-slicers were adapted to the new supply system, and he was in his 68th year when, in 1939, he went into semi-retirement. He was, however, of too active a disposition to rest. Thus, in his later years he designed a separator for eliminating moisture from steam. This proved so successful for marine purposes that most of the modern liners, including the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary, were equipped with sets made by his company.

He was an urbane gentleman, a staunch friend and one whom his associates delighted to honour. His passing after a brief illness is deeply mourned.

He joined The Institution as an Associate Member in 1900 and was elected a Member in 1922.

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