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British Industrial History

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Alfred Lindsay Forster

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Alfred Lindsay Forster (c1872-1943)

1943 Obituary [1]

ALFRED LINDSAY FORSTER died at Glasgow on the 10th February, 1943, at the age of 71. He was a Director of Chance Brothers and Co. and their associated company Glass Fibres Ltd., until his retirement at the end of 1942. He was a pioneer in the introduction to this country of the fabrication of glass silk, one of the uses of this product being for insulation. In addition to his business and technical pursuits he had other varied interests. He was a keen yachtsman and a member of the Clyde Cruising Club; also a member of the Glasgow Chamber Music Society, of which his wife is President, and a frequent attender at the meetings of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow. He joined The Institution as an Associate Member in 1902, and was elected a Member in 1937. He was also a Past-President of the Scottish Branch of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

1943 Obituary [2]

ALFRED LINDSAY FORSTER, whose death occurred at Glasgow on 10th February 1943, was a director of Messrs. Chance Brothers, Ltd., of Birmingham, and of the associated company, Glass Fibres, Ltd., of Glasgow. He was well known as a prominent engineer and an authority on the manufacture of glass. He had been a Member of the Institution since 1912 and was the first chairman of the Scottish Branch on its formation in 1934, in which capacity he also served on the Council.

Mr. Forster was born in 1871, and after serving his apprenticeship with Messrs. Clarke Chapman and Company, of Gateshead, from 1888 to 1892, he continued with that firm for a further period of nine years as engineer and designer. In 1901 he began his long association with Messrs. Chance Brothers, which lasted for over forty years, thirty years of which were spent in Glasgow. His first appointment was that of chief engineer at their Smethwick works, where he initiated and developed the electric supply. In addition he designed the gas producing plant and entirely reorganized the machinery of the works, one of his chief improvements being the provision of apparatus—the first of its kind—for the electrical annealing of optical glass on a commercial scale.

In 1913 he took up residence permanently in Scotland, on the purchase by Messrs. Chance Brothers of the Glasgow Plate Glass works. Under his direction the works were brought up to date and during the ensuing years he was responsible for great developments in the manufacture of glass, including a special variety which he brought out for glazing in tropical countries. By his technical researches he was also successful in introducing to this country the manufacture of glass fibre products, for reduction of noise and vibration and for electrical insulation.

Mr. Forster joined the firm's board of directors in 1924. He was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and a Member of Council of the Smoke Abatement Society.

1943 Obituary [3]

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