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Charles Vickery Drysdale

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Charles Vickery Drysdale (1874–1961), electrical engineer and social philosopher

1874 Born in Paris to Alice Vickery and Charles R. Drysdale (they never married)

Following private schooling, Drysdale obtained his technical education at Finsbury Technical College, London, and at the Central Technical College, South Kensington, where he was awarded the Siemens medal.

Spent a brief period as confidential scientific assistant with Nalder Brothers and Co., electrical instrument makers.

1896 Engaged in educational work and was associate head of the applied physics and electrical engineering department of the Northampton Institute, London, from 1896 to 1910.

1898 Married Bessie Ingman Edwards (1871–1950), a teacher at Stockwell College.

1898 Became a fellow of the Physical Society

1901 awarded the degree of DSc (London); developed a great interest in the design of electrical measuring instruments.

Over the next six years, in association with Messrs H. Tinsley and Co., he supervised the manufacture of many of his inventions. These included the alternating current potentiometer, and the polyphase watt meter, and the phase shifting transformer which later became the basis of servo-mechanisms throughout the world.

1904 President of the Optical Society

1918 Drysdale joined the Admiralty Experimental Station at Parkeston Quay, Harwich, Essex, where he was involved in the development of a leader cable system to guide ships.

Post-WW1 the Admiralty Experimental Station moved to Shandon, Dunbartonshire,

1920 Appointed scientific director of the Station

1920 the Station became the Admiralty Research Laboratory; Drysdale was appointed the first superintendent and moved with the laboratory to Teddington, Middlesex, in 1921.

1920 appointed OBE

1921 Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Worked on the fire control of naval gunnery especially under severe rolling and pitching conditions.

1929 Drysdale became director of scientific research at the Admiralty

1932 Appointed CB

1932-6 A vice-president of the Institute of Physics

1934 Retired from Admiralty service.

1961 Died in Bexhill

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of Charles Vickery Drysdale, ODNB