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Frank Alexander Moffatt

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Frank Alexander Moffatt (1872-1934)

1934 Obituary [1]

FRANK ALEXANDER MOFFATT had had a very extensive experience in well boring, particularly for the provision of fresh-water supplies in salt-water districts, and was responsible for the sinking of more than 350 wells in the Argentine Republic.

He was born at Brockley in 1872, and educated at Ardingly College, Sussex. In 1887 he entered the office of a merchant in the City of London in order to obtain a knowledge of exporting and shipping.

Five years later he went to the Argentine and was engaged on an estancia where he acquired a knowledge of Spanish.

It was not until 1897 that he took up engineering, when he returned to London and served as an apprentice to Messrs. Eastmead and Company, hydraulic engineers, Blackfriars, for three years.

He again left for the Argentine in 1900, and contracted, in his own name, for the sinking of boreholes and the supply and erection of pumps and windmills.

In 1902 he successfully sank a well for fresh water in the salt-water district of Arias.

He joined the firm of Agar, Cross and Company in 1905 and superintended the boring of wells and the installation of pumping appliances at Rufino. In the following year he was sent to Parana, Entre Rios, and carried out boring operations to a depth of 100 metres. On account of difficulties with the subsoils in that district, he designed special types of tools for the work with success. The firm then took up the supply of petrol engines in addition to their other interests, and Mr. Moffatt devised a type of windmill in which the rod could be fixed and the power supplied by a petrol engine when the wind failed.

In the succeeding years he represented the firm in the province of Mendoza and in Bahia Blanca and Rosario, and in 1912 visited the United States in their interests.

About two years later he took charge of a considerable amount of submarine boring in connexion with a Government contract for the construction of a breakwater at Coronel, Uruguay. He was the author of a paper, "Small Machinery in the Argentine Republic," published by the Institution in 1916.

In 1917 he joined Mr. R. P. Dawbarn, M.I.Mech.E., and founded the firm of Dawbarn and Moffatt in the city of Mendoza. In recent years he turned his attention to water- softening plant for industrial purposes and was engaged in the sale and erection of plant in the Argentine for Messrs. United Water Softeners, through their Buenos Aires agents.

Mr. Moffatt had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1919.

His death occurred at Mendoza on 17th June 1934.

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