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Herbert Birkett

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Herbert Birkett (1855-1942)

of J. and E. Hall, Iron Works, Dartford.

1943 Obituary [1]

HERBERT BIRKETT was one of the oldest members of the Institution, having been elected a Graduate as far back as 1880 and transferred to Membership in 1894. He was born in 1855 and after serving his apprenticeship with Messrs. Sharp, Stewart and Company, became associated with the refrigerating side of engineering during the whole of his professional career, his first employment being with Messrs. J. and E. Hall, of Dartford, in the capacity of draughtsman, from 1880 to 1886.

He then went to the Argentine to take up an appointment as engineer and manager of the S. G. Sansinema Company's meat-freezing works at Buenos Ayres. On his return to England, seven years later, he began to practice as a consulting engineer, specializing in the design of meat-freezing works and cold stores in collaboration with the late Mr. L. Sterne, of Westminster. This association lasted for ten years, until 1904, when Mr. Birkett went into practice on his own account. In 1912 he arranged the purchase of the Shanghai Ice Company, for the maintenance of the equipment of which he was responsible.

In 1913 he was appointed managing engineer to The Union Cold Storage Company, London, for whom he carried out the installation of plant. On relinquishing this position in 1916, he was engaged for a year on a similar undertaking in Spain. During the latter part of the war of 1914-18 he was for two years attached to the Department of Mechanical Warfare and served as inspector of tanks.

The remainder of his career was spent in private practice, but for some years before his death, which occurred in London on 28th December 1942, Mr. Birkett had been living in retirement.

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