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Ralph Stanley Whaley

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Ralph Stanley Whaley (c1889-1949)

1950 Obituary [1]

"RALPH STANLEY WHALEY was a highly capable designer with numerous inventions and patents to his credit, his most notable achievements being the "Whaley Two-cycle Air (Water-cooled) Engine", patented in 1918 and exhibited at the Science Museum, South Kensington, and the "Whaley Infinitely-variable Gear", patented in 1934.

At the time of his death, which occurred at Sutton Coldfield on 4th September 1949, in his sixtieth year, he was chairman and managing director of Messrs. Speedy and Eynon, Ltd., Birmingham, electrical and mechanical engineers, and also of the British Electric Company, Ltd., of Rotherhithe. In addition, he occupied the chair of Messrs. Engineering Services, Ltd., of Birmingham.

He was born at Doncaster where he received his general education and was a "leading scholar" at the Grammar School for boys of his age in the West Riding of Yorkshire. His technical training (which extended over a period of ten years, from 1904 to 1914) was obtained at the Doncaster Technical College, Sheffield University, and at the Yorkshire College, Leeds. In addition he gained honours in electrical and mechanical engineering in the examinations of the City and Guilds of London Institute.

After serving his apprenticeship with Messrs. Rhodes Motors, Ltd., of Doncaster, from 1904 to 1910, and passing through the shops and drawing office, he was employed as leading jig and tool draughtsman to Messrs. Vickers, Ltd., at Sheffield. Subsequently he was appointed assistant to the chief of the planning department. After which he was engaged as leading designer for Messrs. David Brown and Sons, Ltd., of Huddersfield.

From 1914 to 1919 he was works superintendent to the Sterling Telephone Company, Ltd., Dagenham, and during this period he laid down, tooled, and started the National Heavy Projectile Factory at Leeds, this being the first of its kind to be erected for the Government. He then went to Birmingham to become works manager to Messrs. Alldays and Onions, Ltd., in which capacity he was responsible, as joint designer, for the manufacture of the first air-cooled radial engine as applied to motor cars, the sleeve valve design application (an original feature) receiving his personal attention. In addition he produced the Alldays and Enfield car of the light class design, and was mainly responsible for the design and manufacture of the Alldays agricultural tractor. In 1922 he became managing director of Messrs. Idris John Motors, Ltd, of Birmingham, and for the next two years was engaged on the production of his own patent air- and water-cooled engines.

He then accepted an appointment as general manager of Messrs. Mann Egerton and Company, Ltd., of Norwich. After holding this position for five years he became associated with Messrs. Crompton Parkinson, Ltd., electrical engineers, as their contracts manager, and at the same time acted as consulting mechanical engineer to the company's works at Chelmsford and elsewhere. Mr. Whaley was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1919, and was transferred to Membership in 1935. He was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts."

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