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Albert Gay

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Albert Gay (1859-1927)

1927 Obituary [1]

ALBERT GAY, electrical engineer to the Islington Borough Council for nearly 33 years, was born at Barnstaple in 1859 and died on the 12th April, 1927.

After a practical training at the works of the Anglo-American Brush Co., he was engaged in 1881 by Messrs. Hammond and Co. in erecting installations, and subsequently started business on his own account.

In 1887 he was appointed chief of the wiring department in the House-to-House Electric Lighting Co.

Between 1889 and 1891 he acted as engineer and manager, first to the Eastbourne Electric Lighting Co. and afterwards to the Brighton and Hove Electric Lighting Co.

In 1891 he rejoined the House-to-House Co. and, until 1894, acted as chief engineer and manager at the West Brompton central station. In that year he was selected by the Islington Vestry to draw up plans and specifications and superintend the erection of their electric lighting works, and to take charge of the works when completed. The power station at Edengrove, Holloway, was opened in March 1896 and had a capacity of 160 kW, the system of supply being single-phase alternating current at 50 periods, generated at 2 000 volts and transformed to 100 and 200 volts by means of street and house transformers. It is of interest to note that the design of the power-house buildings as originally conceived in 1894 has permitted modern plant to be installed, the capacity of the station at the time of Mr. Gay's decease being approximately 26 000 kW.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1895.

1927 Obituary[2]


We regret to record the death of Mr. Albert Gay, borough electrical engineer of Islington, which occurred on Monday, April 11, at the age of 68. Mr. Gay, who was born at Barnstaple in 1859, was one of the once large, but now diminishing, band of electricity supply engineers, who were assistants to the late Mr. Robert Hammond, at a time when power stations were being established in various towns of the country. He was engaged for nearly four years on erection work for this firm, and thus gained considerable experience, which afterwards stood him in good stead. Mr. Gay did not, however, follow the usual procedure of passing direct from Mr. Hammond’s staff to the charge of a station he had helped to erect, but was employed for some time on similar duties with the Yorkshire Brush Co and the Birmingham and Warwickshire Co.

From 1884 to 1887 he was engaged in consulting work in the West of England, while in the latter year he accepted the post of chief of the wiring department of the House-to-House Company. He then became chief engineer of the Eastbourne Electric Light Co, and subsequently was engaged in a similar capacity both with the Brighton and Hove and House-to-House companies. In June, 1894, he was selected by the Islington Vestry to design and erect a generating station for the supply of that district, and to take charge of it when completed. Mr. Gay was a member of the first Council of the Incorporated Municipal Electrical Association, and had been a full member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers since 1895. He was co-author with Mr. C. H. Yeaman, who was for some years his chief assistant, and who is now borough electrical engineer of Stoke-on-Trent, of an excellent text-book entitled Central Station Electricity Supply. This, though modern developments have superseded its usefulness, was for long considered a vade rnecum by those engaged in central station work. Though the Islington undertaking has developed under Mr. Gay’s charge from very small beginnings to a connected load of the order of 25,000 kw., it may be doubted whether he regarded the commercial methods, which are now usual in managing such concerns, with any great favour. The engineering side was always his chief interest, though he realised that a cheap price was one of the chief factors in obtaining an increased output."

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