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British Industrial History

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Christopher Hugh Smyth

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Christopher Hugh Smyth (1878-1949)

1950 Obituary [1]

"CHRISTOPHER HUGH SMYTH was associated with the electrical side of mechanical engineering throughout his career, and had been in the service of the St. Marylebone Borough Council for thirty-five years, during twenty of which he occupied the position of chief electrical engineer.

He was born in Dublin in 1878, and after leaving school studied engineering at the Royal College of Science. On the completion of a three years' pupilage under Mr. G. Marshall Harris, electrical and mechanical engineer, in 1897, he was for the next three years assistant to the resident engineer of the Bray Urban District Council. He then joined the distribution staff of the Glasgow Corporation electricity department as an assistant engineer, and on the conclusion of this engagement, in 1904, served for a few months as chief assistant engineer to the Willesden Urban District Council. In the same year he began his long association with the borough of St. Marylebone. After first acting as distribution engineer he was made chief assistant engineer, and served in this capacity until 1918 when he became chief engineer. During his period of office his department showed great expansion, becoming the largest municipal electricity undertaking in the London area. He was responsible for the planning and supervision of two large boilerhouse and plant extensions, which increased the capacity of the generating station by over 30,000 kW., and was instrumental in arranging the supply of electricity in bulk to the borough of Hampstead. The commercial side of the undertaking also received his attention, the number of units sold increasing fourfold and the average price being considerably reduced. He retired from the service of the Council in 1939. Mr. Smyth, whose death occurred on 31st January 1949, was elected a Member of the Institution in 1919."

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