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Walter Thomas Goolden

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Walter Thomas Goolden (1848-1901) of W. T. Goolden and Co and Easton, Anderson and Goolden

1887 Patent No. 12,676 Walter Thomas Goolden and Llewellyn B. Atkinson of London: Dynamo-electric machine. This relates to machines sealed against moisture and gas ingress. Patented in the USA in 1891 (No. 403,072)[1]

1902 Obituary [2]

. . . For some years he was engaged chiefly in scholastic work, but becoming interested in mechanical and electrical engineering, especially in the development of lighting by electricity, he entered into partnership in 1884 with Mr. Henry Edmunds. In the following year that partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Goolden was joined by Mr. A. P. Trotter, the firm being known as Goolden and Trotter. Several improvements in incandescent lighting machines were the result of this connection, which lasted until 1888, when Mr. Trotter retired from the firm. Mr. Goolden then associated with himself Mr. Llewellyn B. Atkinson, and in 1893 the firm was amalgamated with that of Messrs. Easton and Anderson, under the style of Easton, Anderson and Goolden. Mr. Goolden took charge of the mining work of the firm in the North of England, establishing himself at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and in 1895 he undertook, in addition, the management of the Electrical Coal-cutting Contract Corporation.

His connection with the firm of Easton, Anderson and Goolden ceased in 1898, when he began to practise on his own account as a Consulting Engineer, devoting himself specially to electric mining work. He also became Managing Director of the Typewriting Telegraph Corporation . . .

1902 Obituary [3]

WALTER THOMAS GOOLDEN, one of the pioneers of dynamo building and electrical instrument making, died on the 16th of September, 1901, at the age of 53, just when a man of his temperament, by accumulation of experience, becomes fitted for his best work. He was the antithesis of the pushing business man for whom integrity is a crotchet and intellect a fad, who counts all time lost until he begins to make his mark in his narrow line of life.

Member of Magdalen College, Scholar of Merton College, Oxford, taking first class honours in Science in 1871, Master at Tonbridge School from 1876 to 1883, he sought, in 1884, to turn to the more active employment of his scientific tastes and went into partnership for a short time with Mr. H. Edmunds, in those imaginative days when electrical engineering was a three-year-old profession. He had a singularly exact and clear, but totally unpedantic, knowledge of electrical science.

From 1884 to 1887 his business lay in the anxious and no doubt distasteful cares of the finance and order-getting for the young firm of Goolden and Trotter, while most of the interesting work was carried on at the works at Halifax. In 1887 the firm became Goolden & Co., Mr. Ll. B. Atkinson going into partnership, and the works were concentrated in London.

Soon after the amalgamation with Easton and Anderson of Erith, the instrument-making business, now that of Evershed and Vignoles, was left in London, Mr. Goolden went to reside at Newcastle, to work up the electrical coal-cutting business, and after the reconstruction of the Erith firm, remained there in consulting practice, and his last work was in connection with the Steljes Typewriting Telegraph.

From the point of view of a successful business man (as some men measure success) Mr. Goolden was handicapped by want of commercial training, and by the perfection of his honesty, and there are some who would have counted the transparent frankness and warm-heartedness of his nature as a disadvantage. But such views depend upon what is meant by success. If one weakness may be admitted, it was that he could hardly believe that those with whom he had dealings were not all as upright and of as good faith as himself. His keenness, whether in getting a contract in close competition, or in breaking a record in carrying out some of the stiff conditions of Admiralty dynamo specifications, his patience, and his good humour will always be remembered by his partners and their staff.

An old Tonbridge friend of his writes: "Beyond his attainments in Natural Science, he was a mathematician of no common order, and a man of wide sympathies. He was often to be found on bright winter evenings in the School Observatory with a small band of observers, whom he had inspired with his own love for astronomy. He was also a good musician, and his beautiful tenor voice is still remembered by members of the Tonbridge Choral Society of those clays. He was a man of singular amiability and straightforwardness of character, and was much liked and respected both by masters and by boys."

He was elected an Associate on the 23rd of April, 1885, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 10th of January, 1889. He was an Associate Member of the Council in 1888, and was a full Member of the Council from 1893 to 1895.

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