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British Industrial History

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Alfred Mealand

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Alfred Mealand (c1883-1947)

1947 Obituary [1]

"ALFRED MEALAND, whose death occurred in London on 24th January 1947, at the age of sixty-four, spent most of his professional career in Australia, where for many years he played an important part in the development of the manufacture of munitions in that country. To the success of this new undertaking on the part of the Commonwealth Government he made a very definite contribution, in so far as his powers of organization and ability in design were highly effectual in the production of hitherto unknown types of machine tools.

Mr. Mealand received his technical education at the Coventry Technical School and later also attended classes at Messrs. Alfred Herbert's Technical Institute while serving his apprenticeship with that firm from 1900 to 1904. After gaining experience as journeyman fitter for a brief period at the Coventry Ordnance works he joined the Deasy Motor Car Manufacturing Company, Ltd., for whom he was engaged as a tool designer and toolmaker.

Proceeding to Buenos Aires in 1908 he found employment as a chargehand and tool expert in the shops of the Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway, with responsibility for the design and manufacture of tools.

On his arrival in Australia three years later he filled positions as workshop foreman to Messrs. Kelly and Lewis, general engineers, of Melbourne, and later as tool expert to a firm of agricultural engineers in Adelaide. After acting as workshops superintendent for the Sulphide Corporation, Broken Hill, N.S.W., from 1914 to 1918, he was appointed chief draughtsman to the Munitions Supply Board of the Government Department of Defence, at Melbourne. The duties of this office, which he held for twenty-four years, entailed a varied responsibility, including the organization and control of the drawing office, the design of engineering and explosive factories, and in addition, the inspection of establishments and laboratories. Since 1942 he had been director of the Machine Tool Division, War Supplies Procurement, and more recently he took over the Directorate of Machine Tools and Gauges. Mr. Mealand had been a Member of the Institution since 1931, to which he had rendered valuable services as a Member of the Australian Committee during the last five years of his career."

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