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British Industrial History

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Albert Peter Thurston

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Albert Peter Thurston (1881-1964)

1964 Obituary.

Albert Peter Thurston, M.B.E., D.SC.(ENG.) (G. 1932, M. 1953), died on the 17th April 1964, aged 82. He graduated in 1906 at East London College (now Queen Mary College, London University), and became the first Doctor of Science in Aeronautics in Great Britain in 1913. Following experience as Sir Hiram Maxim's chief aeronautical assistant and as examiner at the Patent Office, London, he served in the Royal Engineers and Royal Air Force during the First World War, finally being placed in charge of safety and design, and later of metal aircraft construction, in the Military Aeronautics Directorate. After the war he started his own practice as a consulting engineer and became principal partner in Thurston, Edwards and Co., London, in 1920, continuing so until his retirement.

Thurston's great interest was in aeronautics. He founded the Aeronautical Laboratory at Queen Mary College in 1909, and, as head until 1914, carried out valuable research. Twice president of the Newcomen Society and adviser on patents to the ASEE, he also patronised model-aeroplane clubs and encouraged inventiveness with competition awards and prizes.

He was a benevolent and good-humoured man who was always anxious to help others and who will be remebered with deep affection by his many friends. His widow survives him.

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