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British Industrial History

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George Edward Gittins

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George Edward Gittins (1871-1941)

1941 Obituary [1]

GEORGE EDWARD GITTINS, B.Sc, whose death occurred at Sale, Cheshire, on the 17th January, 1941, was born at Tunstall, Staffordshire, in 1871.

After spending part of his early boyhood in the United States, he was trained for the scholastic profession, studying at the Wedgewood Institute (Tunstall), Chester College, and the Royal College of Science, London.

From 1889 to 1899 he held teaching appointments in the Potteries and in London, and, in 1899, was appointed Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the Blackburn Technical College.

From 1903 to 1917 he was head of the Electrical Engineering Department of the Preston Technical College. There are many electrical engineers in the North-West of England who passed through his hands and owe their training in the fundamentals of electrical engineering to him.

During the last war, in 1917, he changed from the academic to the practical side of engineering, and entered the Switchgear Engineering Department of the British Westinghouse Co. at Trafford Park. As a section leader in detailed switchgear design, his fundamental knowledge and vigorous energy had full scope in the development of all classes of switchgear then required for industrial and power purposes. He was associated with the early development of metal-clad switchgear.

In 1923 he was appointed Sales Manager of the Transformer Department of the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co. (formerly the British Westinghouse Co.), holding that position until the time of his death. His tenure of that office covered an epoch of the most marked transformer development, especially in high-voltage work, both for export and for the Grid, and in transformers for industrial purposes. Notable among the latter was the development of transformers for the expanding field of colliery supply, which sphere gave further scope for his activities.

He entered with zest into the affairs of mining electrical work and was closely connected with the Association of Mining Electrical Engineers from its inception in 1911 up to the time of his death, and much of the present standing of the Association is due to his forcible challenge to difficulties that beset the Association in its early days. Throughout his life he remained both a student and a teacher; an assiduous worker, his disposition to impetuosity and didacticism was tempered with innate kindliness and a sense of humour which, combined with a fund of anecdote, made him an agreeable and versatile raconteur.

He was elected an Associate of The Institution in 1904, an Associate Member in 1921, and a Member in 1924.

1941 Obituary [2]

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