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British Industrial History

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Charles James Hall

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Charles James Hall (c1861-1914)

c.1861 Born in Lincolnshire

1887 William Lowrie - engineer - and Charles James Hall assigned to Robert Hammond - merchant in business as Hammond and Co - a one-third share in their inventions and patents of electrical machinery for the U.K., British colonies and foreign countries, including electric "convertors"[1]

1891 Chas Jas Hall 29, electrical engineer, was visiting the family of Jane Ellen Kolle (including Harold Werner Kolle 27, electrical engineer) in Norwood[2]

1894 of Leeds; patented improvement in secondary batteries.

1915 Obituary [3]

CHARLES JAMES HALL died on the 2nd October, 1914, at Leeds, at the age of 53.

He was one of the earliest pupils of the Hammond Electrical Engineering College, and then passed some time in the Appold-street works of Messrs. Ferranti, Thompson and Ince.

He subsequently served as electrical engineer on board the s.s. Aruwimi and on the staff at the Eastbourne electricity works.

In the early eighties, when acting on the staff of Mr. Robert Hammond, he originated in conjunction with Mr. W. Lowrie and Mr. H. W. Kolle what was practically the first public electric lighting system worked by high-pressure alternating currents and underground mains to be used in this country. It was designated the "L.K.H." system, but was generally known as the "Lowrie-Hall" system. It comprised generation and distribution of electricity from a central station, the latter being equipped with high-tension separately-excited alternators, automatic voltage regulators, high-tension switchgear and fuses, and underground high-tension cables connected to small transformers on consumers' premises.

Among the earliest examples of this system were central stations at Eastbourne and West Brompton, started up in 1882 and 1889 respectively. The latter, as "The House to House Electric Light Company," Mr. Hall managed personally for some time. Other inventions in connection with the system were a vacuum-tube fault detector and a high-tension fuse for transformers, detachable while working.

As manager of the electrical department of Messrs. John Fowler and Co. Mr. Hall personally superintended the design and manufacture of his specialities from 1890 to 1904.

In the latter year he set up as a consulting engineer in Leeds, and he finally retired in 1909.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1891, and served on the Committee of the Leeds Local Section from 1903 to 1906.

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