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Charles Vernier

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Charles Vernier (1877-1928)

1928 Obituary [1]

CHARLES VERNIER was born in London on the 15th April, 1877, of French parents and, during his boyhood, lived in France for several years and was partly educated there.

His technical education was obtained at the Finsbury Technical College and the Regent Street Polytechnic.

In the early nineties he came under the influence of Alphonse Reyrolle, whose name is still perpetuated in A. Reyrolle and Co., Ltd. He was one of Reyrolle's first apprentices when the latter's tendency to specialize on switchgear had not completely developed. As a consequence his apprenticeship embraced many and varied experiences, ranging from theatrical equipment for the production of new stage effects to the rewinding of alternators.

He remained with Reyrolle until 1897, when he was appointed electrician in charge of testing work at the Brockie-Pell Arc Lamp Co.

In the year 1899 he became associated with Charles H. Merz, under whom he worked at Cork in the capacity of assistant engineer on mains work, and in the year 1900 he was appointed mains engineer to the Newcastle-on-Tyne Electric Supply Co. This company was at that time at the commencement of its career of expansion, and during the whole of its development he was responsible for the mains work, including the pioneer underground 20 000-volt system put down in 1906 and, in 1923, a main transmission system at 66 000 volts, comprising both overhead lines and underground cable.

In 1927 he joined the Macintosh Co. as chief engineer, but his length of service with that company was too short to enable him to produce the developments in underground high-pressure transmission on which he had set his mind.

Among many activities he took a leading part in the formation of the Electrical Power Engineers' Association and served as a member of its first National Executive Council.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1904 and a Member in 1911, and was a member of the Committee of the North-East Centre from 1911 to 1925 and Chairman of that Centre in 1913. From 1920 to 1923 he served on the Council. In addition to his Chairman's Address to the North-East Centre in 1913, he read papers before the Institution on "The Laying and Maintenance of Transmission Cables" in 1911, and "Wayleaves" in 1917, the latter paper being awarded the Paris Premium. He also served on a large number of committees and in particular was chairman of the Conductors Section of the British Electrical and Allied Industries' Research Association and of the sub-committee of that organization dealing with the permissible current loading of paper-insulated cables. At various times he patented a number of inventions relating to development in transmission problems.

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