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Harry Bryant Matthews

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Harry Bryant Matthews (1876-1925)

Born in Lincoln, son of Amos B Matthews and Dorcas P Matthews[1]

1925 Obituary [2]

HARRY BRYANT MATTHEWS was born in 1876.

His engineering training was acquired partly in works, and partly in university classes. He attended as a full-time student at two universities, but did not in either case fulfil all the conditions necessary for gaining a degree or diploma. His technical training was, nevertheless, most thorough. He spent two years - 1902 and 1903 - at the Birmingham University as a research scholar, after winning in open competition the Bowen Research Scholarship. During those two years he devoted a good deal of time to research work on single-phase motors.

In September 1903 he was appointed senior lecturer in electrical engineering at the Birmingham Technical School, and remained on the staff there for nine years. He was an able and efficient teacher and showed much initiative in devising new and valuable laboratory arrangements by means of which large evening laboratory classes of an advanced grade could be efficiently dealt with. He was very fond of teaching, was always kindly and sympathetic with his students, and proved to be a most successful head of an electrical engineering department. He was enthusiastic, and had many other attractive social characteristics which caused him to be much liked by all who came in contact with him.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1905 and a Member in 1913, and took an active part in the discussions of the Birmingham Local Section, now South Midland Centre, but he had little ambition to write formal papers describing his own experimental work. His chief contribution is to be found in Volume 40 of the journal, and describes some of the results which hie obtained on the distribution of magnetic flux in the air-gaps of machines having slotted armatures.

He acted as Honorary Secretary of the Birmingham Local Section from 1906 until he left for India in 1912. He did excellent work for the Institution, in this capacity, and was highly esteemed by his fellow members. He took a great interest in the Territorial movement. In 1908 he energetically assisted in raising the Telegraph Companies of the Southern Command. He held the rank of Captain of the Wireless Section, and was. the first officer serving in that capacity in the Midlands. His extensive personal acquaintance with young electrical engineers, due to his two positions as a teacher in the Technical School and as Honorary Secretary of the Local Section of the Institution, enabled him to exert considerable influence in recruiting for the Corps in the days shortly before the war.

In 1912 he was offered, and accepted, the post of Assistant Professor of Electrotechnology at the Indian Engineering Research College, Bangalore. Later he became Professor of Electrical Engineering at the College of Engineering, Guindy, Madras.

He returned to this country in February 1921 on medical leave, owing to a nervous breakdown brought on by overwork, and did not recover sufficiently to take up his work again.

He died in the summer of 1925.

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