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Ellis Herbert Crapper

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Ellis Herbert Crapper (1861-1925) of the University of Sheffield

1925 Obituary [1]

ELLIS HERBERT CRAPPER, M.Eng., was born in Sheffield on the 24th June, 1861, and died at Rhos-on-Sea on the 22nd March, 1925, during a temporary absence from his home. He leaves a widow and one daughter.

He received his early education at the Central School, Sheffield, and later was a student under Dr. Hicks, F.R.S., at the Firth College (now absorbed in the University of Sheffield). He also attended some of the special summer courses at the Royal College of Science, London.

The whole of his subsequent career was spent in his native city. In early life he was a teacher at the Philadelphia Board School, from which he rose to the position of Peripatetic Science Master under the old School Board.

At the end of the year 1889 he was appointed assistant master in the Junior Department of the Technical School (now absorbed in the University of Sheffield). Three years later he was transferred to the Senior Department, as Lecturer in Mathematics and Physics, and after the lapse of about another year he became Lecturer in Physics and Electrical Engineering.

On the formation of the University College he was appointed Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, and when the University was established in 1905 he became Senior Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, a post which he held for about 12 years, during which period the best part of his scholastic work was accomplished.

In February 1917 his position was changed to that of Independent Lecturer in charge of the Electrical Engineering Department, a position which he occupied at the time of his death. He thus devoted the whole of his life to the cause of education, a pursuit which fitted him perfectly, and by his death in his sixty-fourth year the University, and especially the Applied Science Department, has sustained a very real loss. Not only was he a man of considerable attainment, a hard worker, unsparing of himself in lecture room and laboratory alike, but he possessed a genial; and kindly personality, and was held in high esteem by both staff and students.

He was the author of the following books: "Electric and Magnetic Circuits," "Practical Electrical Measurements," "Arithmetic of Electrical Engineering." "Arithmetic of Alternating Currents," "Electric Circuit Problems "; and in addition he contributed numerous articles over a long period to the engineering journals.

He made the testing of magnetic material his particular study, and during the war period was engaged in important magnetic tests in connection with magneto magnets and special nickel steels for the Aeronautical Inspection Department. Last year he wrote a series of articles entitled "The Elements of Magnetic Analysis," which appeared in Engineering and evoked favourable comment both at home and especially in the U.S.A. Many of the Sheffield steelworks, and also officials of the Indian Government, have sought his advice on the choice and testing of magnetic materials for special purposes. Apart from his scholastic attainments, he was a well-known figure in local Freemason circles, a Past Master of the St. Leonard's Lodge, and one of the founders of the University Lodge.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1894, was transferred to Associate Membership in 1899, and became a Member in 1900. He was instrumental in the formation of what is now the Sheffield Sub-Centre and the Sheffield Students' Section.

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