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Robert Holden Housman

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Robert Holden Housman ( -1905)


1905 Obituary [1]

ROBERT HOLDEN HOUSMAN, who died in May, 1905, was educated at Sydney College, Bath, and at Bromsgrove School.

In 1882 he entered Mason College, being one of the first students in engineering ; at the end of his course he was made one of the first Associates of the college, a distinction which led to the degree of B.Sc, which was conferred on him in 1901, when the college was merged into the University.

On leaving Mason College Mr. Housman was, for some years, with Messrs. Chamberlain & Hookham, where he obtained valuable experience in dynamo and general electrical work, and later he was engaged in similar work in London.

In 1895 he was elected to the newly-created post of lecturer on electrical engineering at Mason College, and he established and organised the laboratory in electrical engineering. While at Mason College he devised, in conjunction with Mr. Kapp, the well-known Kapp-Housman test for separating the "no-load" losses which occur in dynamo machinery.

Up to the time of his death he took an interest in technical electricity, and was an active member of the Birmingham Local Section. After holding the lectureship for three years, he resigned it when he was appointed scientific adviser to Kynoch's in 1898. Here he was able to take up the study of ballistics, for which he had always had great enthusiasm. He had always taken great interest in the theory as well as the practice of shooting, and had already carried out a series of experiments. At Kynoch's he found the opportunity to continue his favourite pursuit, and with remarkable ability and experimental skill he devised methods of measuring the pressure of the powder and the velocity of the bullet at every point of its course along the barrel of a rifle. He was a man of wide culture outside his scientific pursuits, and his personal qualities won him the respect and warm regard of his colleagues at the Mason College, and later at Kynoch's.

Mr. Housman was elected a Member of the Institution in 1890.


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