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Harry Mackenzie Ridge

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Harry Mackenzie Ridge (1873-1843)

1943 Obituary [1]

Mr. H. M. Ridge died at his home at Crouch End, N.8, on August 4, 1943, at the age of 70. He was Principal of the two firms: H. M. Ridge and Company, consulting mining and metallurgical engineers, and Ridge Roasting Furnace and Engineering Company, engineers and contractors for metallurgical, chemical, and mining plant.

Mr. Ridge was born in London in 1873 and was educated at Christ's Hospital, Newgate St., E.C. Later he went to Freiberg in Saxony to study mining engineering and surveying, and there he obtained the Diploma of Bergingenieur and Markscheider.

In 1899 Mr. Ridge went to Australia to take up the position of Manager of the Australian Metal Company's works at Broken Hill, where he remained until 1905, when he returned home to become General Manager of the [Central Zinc Co|Central Zinc Company, Ltd.]], Seaton Carew, Co. Durham.

This post he relinquished in 1909 in order to commence practice in London as a consulting mining and metallurgical engineer. In particular Mr. Ridge specialized in the treatment of ores containing silver, lead, zinc, and other non-ferrous metals ; while in his capacity as Principal of the Ridge Roasting Furnace Company, he designed and installed important plant both at home and in places as far apart as Finland and the Dutch East Indies. In addition Mr. Ridge's advice in a consulting capacity was in great demand, and in the course of this work he inspected and reported upon mines in many parts of the world.

As recently as 1936-37 he revisited Australia and collected important data there.

Immediately after the armistice of 1918, Mr. Ridge was authorized to visit factories in the British-occupied areas and report on their output and stocks-in-hand, a mission he carried out very ably. Before the present war, he frequently visited the Continent and collected much important information there, including that essential for the operation of an up-to-date scrap copper refinery. Mr. Ridge was most anxious that such a refinery should be erected in this country, for use both in peace and war, but, though he prepared all necessary plans, he did not succeed in inducing the relevant authorities to adopt his scheme. A letter on the subject of the copper shortage by Mr. Ridge was published in the Manchester Guardian on October 17th 1942, and reprinted in the Institute's Journal for November.

Mr. Ridge worked strenuously for his country after the outbreak of war in 1939, spending the first six months with the Ministry of Economic Warfare (Metals Department). He had an exceptional knowledge of the Continental countries, and in particular of Germany, and he spoke most of the languages fluently; on this account he had continual meetings with Government Departments to give important detailed information and photographs regarding mining and metallurgical works, munition works, railways, bridges, &c.

A year before his death, Mr. Ridge put into operation a munition works which he had designed and constructed in a comparatively short space of time and under adverse conditions. He experienced difficulty in obtaining the necessary equipment, often having to connect new and old parts together, and when he went to the site to start up the plant, he had no experienced engineer to assist him and only unskilled labour was available.

An Original Member of the Institute of Metals, Mr. Ridge was also a member of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, of the Iron and Steel Institute, and of the Institution of Chemical Engineers; in addition he was a Fellow of the Institute of Fuel and of the Geological Society of London. Mr. Ridge's interests did not lie entirely in the field of mining and metal- lurgy; he was the possessor of a law degree and had a profound knowledge of international law and exchange. Mention should also be made of his activity 518 Obituary

in assisting refugees from oppression; true refugees soon found a friend and wise counsellor in Mr. Ridge ; for some he succeeded in finding suitable employment, others he assisted in emigration.

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