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British Industrial History

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Ernest Miller

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Ernest Miller ( -1946)

1947 Obituary [1]

As one who had a very warm friendship with Ernest Miller extending over something like forty years, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to contribute a short note on his personality and his experiences. I think it was in 1907, when I was chief of the test room at the Cambridge -Scientific Instrument Company, Ltd., that Ernest Miller came to me as an assistant, and even at that early date I was struck by a certain gaiety with which he viewed life and attacked difficulties and which did not in any way interfere with his acute technical appreciation of a problem.

When I went to the States in 1907 I lost touch with him, but contact was renewed during the early part of World War I when I learnt that he was engaged on what had been his "first love" - instrument design and construction. I saw him and heard from him often, with increasing warmth of our friendly feelings and appreciation of his qualifications until, in the business he had established in Birmingham, he became the representative of our Company. In that work, he combined the factors associated with pyrometry and heat insulation and established for himself quite a reputation as an authority on the practical application of these two processes. In this work and capacity Ernest Miller continued until his death on 25 November 1946.

I am sure that I was no exception among his many friends in finding, when meeting him for discussion of technical and business matters, that his gaiety of spirit persisted to the last. Re entered into a problem with a feeling that enthused us all, making us feel that it was not only interesting technically but a good game and rather an adventure, and his conversation was enlivened by a fund of anecdotes and original humorous remarks which in themselves were an entertainment. The technical industries associated with the use and measurement of heat have suffered a great loss in his departure from us, but I am happy to note that the ideals which inspired his own approach to work and business have persisted among us and form a model of how man should live and enjoy life.

He was elected a member of the Institute of Metals in 1922. CHARLES E. FOSTER.

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