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British Industrial History

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John Edgar Edmundson

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John Edgar Edmundson (1879-1920)

1879 Born in Dublin, son of John Wigham Edmundson[1] and his wife Gertrude nee Watson, a daughter of Joseph Watson senior.

1911 Resident engineer and manager for an electric supply company, lived in Grantham with Marion Edmundson 33, Kathleen Mary Edmundson 6, Norah Gertrude Edmundson 4, Joan Wigham Edmundson 3, Arnold Watson Edmundson under 2 months[2]

1920 Obituary [3]

JOHN EDGAR EDMUNDSON was born on the 22nd April, 1879, at Foxrock, Co. Dublin.

His father who at that time was engineer to Messrs. Edmundson of Dublin, a firm then largely engaged in the construction of lighthouses, shortly afterwards moved to Gateshead and was engaged in the manufacture of incandescent electric lamps, first with the Ediswan Company and later with the Sunbeam Lamp Company.

He was educated at the High School at Gateshead, and afterwards at the Friends' Boarding School at Ackworth, in Yorkshire.

In December 1894 he started to serve his time with Messrs. J. Wigham, Richardson & Co., in their marine engine works at Newcastle, but left two years later and went to the Electrical Department of Messrs. Clarke, Chapman at Gateshead, being chiefly engaged on ship installation work. While living in Newcastle he attended lectures and classes at Armstrong College.

In 1901 he was appointed assistant engineer at the electricity works, Brechin, one of the group of undertakings controlled by Messrs. Edmundsons' Electricity Corporation, and all his later work was in connection with this firm.

His next appointments were on the construction of tramways between Camborne and Redruth, and in Glossop and Scarborough. He remained at the last-named town as engineer and manager until 1906, when he was appointed resident engineer and manager of the electricity supply undertaking at Grantham. During the time of his management at Grantham the undertaking was very considerably enlarged, and in 1914 and 1915 large contracts were carried out for the equipment and supply of the camp adjoining the town.

In 1919 he was transferred to the more important undertaking at Hawick. The output of these works during his management increased materially, and further plant was being installed at the time of his decease. His life was uneventful, but full of hard and enthusiastic work in the interest of his employers and of the undertakings with the management of which he was entrusted.

He had a great facility for making friends, as he had a cheery and bright manner which made it easy for him to get into intimate touch with people in all walks of life. The letters which were written after his death by his brother engineers and the men who worked under him are a fine record of the influence which a man of absolute integrity and uprightness of character has on those with whom he associates. He was a sound engineer and a most executive manager. He died at the early age of 41, leaving a wife and four children, and his death was a loss to the firm for whom he had worked for 19 years.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1902, an Associate Member in 1905, and a Member in 1920.

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