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British Industrial History

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Kenelm Edgcumbe

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Lieut-Col. Kenelm William Edward Edgcumbe of Everett, Edgcumbe and Co (1873-1965)

Served his pupillage with Crompton and Co at Chelmsford, and in 1897 joined the staff at Northampton Polytechnic Institute in London.

In 1900 he founded the firm of Everett, Edgcumbe and Co.

1911 Living at Heath Cottage, Letchmore, Watford: Kenelm Edgcumbe (age 37 born Vienna), Director of Electrical manufacturing Co. With his wife Lilian Edgcumbe (age 34 born Oswetry) with their daughters Hilaria Edgcumbe (age 3 born Chelsea) and Katherine Edgcumbe (age 10 months born Mill Hill). Four servants.[1]

1918 Book. Industrial electrical measuring instruments, Kenelm Edgcumbe, Constable & Co Ltd. 1918. 2ed

1944 Inherited the title of 6th Earl of Mount Edgcumbe

1965 Obituary [2]

'We regret to record that the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe died at the age of ninety-one on February 3 at his home in Cornwall. A past president and honorary member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, he was for many years the chairman and managing director of Everett, Edgcumbe and Co. Ltd., the firm which he founded in 1900.

Kenelm Edgcumbe, was the only son of Richard Edgcumbe, was born in Vienna on October 9, 1873 and he succeeded his cousin, the fifth earl in 1944. He was educated at Harrow and went on to study electrical engineering at Dresden and at University College, London, of which he later became a fellow. After serving as a pupil at Crompton and Co., Chelmsford, he joined the staff at Northampton Polytechnic, London in 1897. Three years later he left to start the firm of Everett, Edgcumbe and Co. A keen Territorial for twenty-five years he was an officer in the London Electrical Engineers, founded by Colonel Crompton. He served throughout the 1914-18 war and retired with the rank of Lieut. Colonel in 1925.

He joined the Institution of Electrical Engineers as an associate in 1897 and became an associate member in 1899 and a member in 1905. He presented many technical papers on the design of electrical instruments, awards for which included the Ayrton premiums and the Sylvanus Thompson premiums. After serving as vice-president of the I. E. E. from 1925 to 1928 he became president 1928-29. His inaugural address was memorable for his survey of the impact of electrical engineering on society and, in particular, on industry and productivity. It is interesting today to recall his reflections on the fact that in industrial electrification Great Britain then lagged behind Germany and the U.S.A. and that the electrical demand in agriculture was twice as high in Germany as in Great Britain. The year of his presidency of the I. E. E. was marked by the formation of the Meter and Instrument Section of the Institution - largely the result of his own devoted efforts.

He already had an international reputation in the electrical industry when he became honorary secretary of the International Electrotechnical Commission. He was also a vice president of the International Commission on Illumination, a vice-president of the British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers' Association, and a fellow and past president of the Illuminating Engineering Society.'

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1911 Census
  2. The Engineer 1965/02/19, p340.