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British Industrial History

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Herbert Henry Berry

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Herbert Henry Berry (1873-1939)

1939 Obituary[1]

HERBERT HENRY BERRY, chairman and managing director of Berry's Electric (1928) Ltd., who died on the 17th March, 1939, was born in 1873. He was educated at University College School and at the Finsbury Technical College under the late Silvanus P. Thompson. He served his apprenticeship with Siemens Brothers, Ltd., at Woolwich, whom he-joined in 1889. In 1895 he started in business on his own account at Queen Victoria Street, London. The factory at Birmingham was founded in 1900 and 5 years later the title of the company was changed to Berry, Skinner and Co. The business was formed into a private company in 1918, and the present public company was registered in 1928.

Mr. Berry had over 100 patents in various electrical devices, and was the original inventor of safety-first medium-pressure ironclad switchgear in 1904. His name will, however, be most prominently associated with his invention of the " Magicoal " electric fire, for which letters patent were granted in 1916. The application of fluorescence in connection with electric fires was another fruitful idea.

He took an early interest in electrical industrial organization, and was a member of the Council of the National Electrical Manufacturers' Association from its inception in 1903 until its incorporation in the British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers' Association in 1911. In 1930 he was elected to the Council of the latter Association and was an active and valuable member up to the time of his death. An enthusiastic believer in exhibitions, he was prominent in the organization of the Electrical Exhibitions at Olympia in 1905 and 1911, and in the development of the Electrical Section of the British Industries Fair at Birmingham.

He joined The Institution as a Student in 1891, and was elected an Associate in 1894, an Associate Member in 1899, and a Member in 1908. For many years he served on the Wiring Regulations Committee.

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