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James Taylor

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James Taylor (1860-1927) of the Telegraph Manufacturing Co and the British Insulated and Helsby Cables

1928 Obituary [1]

JAMES TAYLOR was born on the 24th December, 1860, and was the second son of Mr. Henry Dyson Taylor, a well-known woollen manufacturer of Huddersfield.

When he was quite young he made a voyage round the world and was always a most enthusiastic traveller, but it can be said of him that business always came first and pleasure after.

He had a business training with John Dewhirst and Son of Elland, Yorkshire, in the combing and spinning of worsted yarn, and was first connected with the cable-making industry in 1884, when he and his brother-in-law, Mr. Frederick Whiteley, joined his brother, Mr. G. Crosland Taylor, who had commenced in the previous year to manufacture cables at the Deeside Electric Works, Neston, Cheshire. It was later found that this site was unsuitable and the business was transferred to Helsby, where railway facilities were good, and here Mr. James Taylor rendered outstanding service.

A new private company was formed known as the Telegraph Manufacturing Co., Ltd., and its range of products was increased to include electrical instruments and batteries. The private company continued until the year 1898, when, owing to the large demand for its products, it was found necessary to obtain a considerable amount of further capital, and a new public company was formed with the same name, the directors being Mr. James Taylor, Chairman, Mr. Crosland Taylor, Mr. Frederick Whiteley and Prof. John Hopkinson, but the last-named practically never acted, as he went on holiday to Switzerland almost immediately after the company was formed and met with a fatal accident.

In order to increase the scope of the business an amalgamation was effected in 1902 with the British Insulated Wire Co., of Prescot, and the combined concern adopted the title of British Insulated and Helsby Cables, Ltd. Mr. James Taylor became vice-chairman of the new board and succeeded to the chairmanship in 1918.

He was closely identified with other branches of the electrical industry, being a director of the Midland Electric Corporation for Power Distribution, Ltd., the Electrical Finance and Securities Co., Ltd., the Electric Supply Company of Victoria, Ltd., the Colne Valley Electric Supply Co., Ltd., the British Aluminium Co., Ltd., the Automatic Telephone Manufacturing Co., Ltd., the Foots Cray Electricity Supply Co., Ltd., the International Automatic Telephone Manufacturing Co., Ltd., the National Electric Construction Co., Ltd., the North British Aluminium Co., Ltd., and the Northwood Electric Light and Power Co., Ltd.

Apart from his business interests, he was a Justice of the Peace for the County of Chester, and had sat as a member of the Frodsham Bench for 27 years. He was president of the Helsby Athletic Club and of the Helsby Golf Club. In his earlier years he played both cricket and golf.

After undergoing an operation, in October 1926, he spent the winter abroad to recuperate, returning to his home at Mold, North Wales, in the spring of 1927. This sojourn had not the desired effect, and he passed away on the 2nd September, 1927, at the age of 66 years.

He became an Associate of the Institution in 1889 and a Member in 1898.

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