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British Industrial History

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Henry Joseph

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Henry Joseph (1879-1941)

1941 Obituary [1]

HENRY JOSEPH was born in 1879 and was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham; and subsequently took a 3 years' course in electrical engineering at Mason College (now Birmingham University).

He served as an apprentice with Thomas Parker, Ltd., at Wolverhampton, after which he was for a brief period with the Harrow Electric Light and Power Co., as Assistant Engineer.

In 1901 he was appointed Assistant Engineer to the Folkestone Electricity Supply Co., and became the company's Engineer and Manager at Hythe in 1902.

He took up a similar position with the Melton Mowbray Electric Light Co. in 1905, and 2 years later was appointed Engineer and Manager at Dorking and Caterham with the Urban Electric Supply Co.

From 1910 to 1916 he was Engineer and Manager of the last-mentioned Company at Hawick, and during the Great War held a commission in the Tyne Electrical Engineers.

He commenced business at Wolverhampton as The Midland Electric Power Installation Co. in 1919, and the concern became a limited company in 1931. By then the firm had grown from its small beginnings into a flourishing installation and power business.

He was always held in great esteem by those with whom he worked, and in 1940 a presentation was made to him by his staff to mark the company's coming-of-age. He was a great believer in the work of The Institution, which he joined as a Student in 1898. He became an Associate in 1902, an Associate Member in 1906, and a Member in 1931. He served on the Committee of the South Midland Centre for many years, and was its Chairman from 1939 to 1941. In his Chairman's Address, entitled "Electricity and Civilization," he revealed his keen interest in the role of the engineer as a citizen.

He was a member of the Midland Sectional Board of the Electrical Contractors' Association, and of the Committee of the Birmingham Electric Club. He also served on the Committee, and was at one time Chairman, of the Midland Electric Corporation Circle. He was always ready to play his part in any work to enhance the standing of the engineering profession. In recent years, he was an active member of the Wolverhampton Rotary Club, and served on several of its committees.

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