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John Rutherford Blaikie

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John Rutherford Blaikie (1871-1945)

1945 Obituary [1]

JOHN RUTHERFORD BLAIKIE, a native of Staffordshire, was born in 1871 and died on the 21st July, 1945. He received his engineering education at Finsbury Technical College, and his practical training with the City of Bath Electric Lighting and Engineering Co. and the Taunton Electric Lighting Co. In 1892 he was appointed 3rd Assistant Engineer at the Bristol Corporation Electricity Works, becoming Chief Assistant in 1894, and in 1898 he was appointed Chief Electrical Engineer to the Vestry of St. Mary Newington (Southwark). He resigned this appointment in 1904 to take up research work, but subsequently joined the staff of Kincaid, Waller and Manville, for whom he superintended the installation of electric tramways at Hastings. Later he went to Brazil for the same firm, who were carrying out a similar contract at Porto Alegre. He then joined his brother in British Columbia, returning to this country in 1915, when he was appointed to the staff of the Bedford Electricity Undertaking. Subsequently he took charge of constructional work in connection with the extension of the generating station, and, except for a short interval, he remained with the Bedford Undertaking until 1936, when he retired.

He was a man of wide interests, and his contemporaries will remember many instances of both technical and social interest in which he played a leading part. His early experience in the pioneer days of the electricity supply industry developed a naturally inventive ability which showed itself in an originality of method applied to proposals for the solution of current problems. His contribution to the debates on tariffs was an example of this ingenuity, and, in another sphere, he was largely responsible for one of the earliest schemes for the conveyance of boiler-house ashes by hydraulic means. His interests in the fine arts was well known to his friends.

He married while in Victoria, British Columbia, and is survived by his widow, one son and two daughters. During the early years of the war he was actively engaged in A.R.P. duties where enemy action was severe, and it is probable that his death was accelerated by overstrain.

He joined The Institution as a Student in 1890 and was elected an Associate in 1893, an Associate Member in 1899 and a Member in 1913. His paper on "Electric Supply Conditions and Hopkinson Principles" appeared in the Journal in 1921.

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