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British Industrial History

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Charles Humphrey Wingfield

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Charles Humphrey Wingfield (1855-1941)

1941 Obituary [1]

CHARLES HUMPHREY WINGFIELD was born in 1855 and educated at Haileybury. He served a three years' apprenticeship, commencing in 1873, at the works of Messrs. J. and H. Gwynne at Hammersmith and was afterwards engaged by that firm as draughtsman until 1877. During this period he was engaged on exceptionally large centrifugal pumps supplied for the Ferrara reclamation scheme in Italy, and on pumping plant for the Hyderabad water supply project. After holding similar appointments with Messrs. Thomas Simpson and Company of Pimlico, for whom he was employed on the planning of the heating arrangements for Kew Palace, and with Messrs. Owens of Whitefriars, he entered the service of Messrs. John I. Thornycroft and Company in 1878.

In 1882, he was placed in charge of the steam engineering department where he was intimately concerned with the design of H.M.S. Speedy, the first large vessel in the Navy to be fitted with the Thornycroft water-tube boiler. Mr. Wingfield was also responsible for the design of the machinery of torpedo boats, destroyers, and other naval craft. He remained with Messrs. Thornycroft until 1901, when he obtained a similar position with Messrs. Willans and Robinson of Rugby. Mr. Wingfield subsequently commenced to practice as a consulting engineer, specializing in legal work. He represented the British Government on the international jury on steam-engines and allied machinery at the Brussels Exhibition; and at the Turin Exhibition he presided over the international jury on prime movers.

He was a member of the Wire Ropes Research Committee of the Institution from its inception in 1913. During the war of 1914-18, he was engaged by the Ministry of Munitions on the manufacture of shrapnel shells and on the supply of forgings for ordnance factories. He was also secretary of the committee for the disposal of obsolete components, and equipment officer for the Coventry Ordnance Works and the Austin Motor Company, Ltd. After the war, he retired from active practice.

Mr. Wingfield whose death occurred on 15th February 1941 was a frequent contributor to the technical press and participated in the discussions on various papers presented to the Institution, of which he had been a Member since 1900. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects.

1941 Obituary [2]

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