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Gustave P. Seligmann-Lui

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Gustave P. Seligmann-Lui (1855-1915)

1916 Obituary [1]

GUSTAVE P. SELIGMANN-LUI was born at Kpinal in the Vosges in 1855.

After two years at the Kcole Polytechnique he entered in 1877 the Government Telegraph Department. In view of the threatened shortage of gutta-percha - a subject considered at the Electrical Congress in connection with the Paris Exhibition of 1881 - the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs decided to dispatch an official of his Department to the Far East, with the object of studying on the spot the production of rubber and the cultivation of the tree which produces it, and his choice fell on M. Seligmann-Lui. As a result of a visit to Sumatra, Cambodia, and Siam, M. Seligmann-Lui came to the conclusion that in spite of certain difficulties it was feasible to establish plantations of rubber trees in Cochin China; but the scheme was not persevered with.

On his return he took in hand the preparation and publication of a translation of Clerk Maxwell's work on "Electricity and Magnetism"; and some years later he completed a translation of Dr. Alexander Russell's book on the "Theory of Alternating Currents."

At the end of 1889 he was sent, together with one of his colleagues, M. de la Touanne, to report on the telephone industry in the United States.

In 1894 he was appointed chief engineer of the Paris telephone service, and in 1901 he became Inspector-General of Posts and Telegraphs, a position which he held until his death. He was particularly interested in military applications of telegraphy and telephony, and as a military telegraph officer since 1878 he took part in its development and organization. In recognition of his services in this respect, he was promoted in 1906 to be Officer of the Legion of Honour, his professional services having been previously recognized in 1887 by the awarded of the Cross of Chevalier.

At the outbreak of war in 1914 he took up his post as Director of Military Telegraphy at Headquarters, and in November of the same year he received from the hands of the President of the French Republic the Cross of Commander of the Legion of Honour. He died on the 9th December, 1915.

He was elected a Foreign Member of the Institution in 1880 and a Member in 1911.

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