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T. Vincent Smith

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T. Vincent Smith (1872-1927)

1927 Obituary[1]


We regret to have to record the death of Major T. Vincent Smith, which occurred in London on Monday, September 5. In the early days of electrical engineering, the development of the art was often greatly assisted by those who had received no early training, either in electricity or engineering, but had acquired and applied much useful knowledge as they went along. Such cases are now, for obvious causes, less common than they were, and interest is for this reason added to the career of Vincent Smith.

He was born in London in 1872, the son of Mr. Henry Smith, who had a printing business in the City. He was educated privately in this country and at Leipzig, and, though from the beginning he was greatly attracted towards physical science, he was for a time mainly engaged in the study of music, and particularly of the organ. The growing importance of wireless and the immense field for research which it offered gave him his chance, while his painstaking methods and his intimate grasp of detail stood him in good stead when working in. a field where theory and practice had to be developed side by side. In 1906, he joined the Amalgamated Radio Telegraph Company, and was also for a time a director of the British Radio Telegraph Company, while later on he played a considerable part in the long experiments which preceded the establishment of broadcasting in this country.

During the war, his work was also mainly on the wireless side. He joined the Royal Flying Corps, and after serving as senior Wireless Officer in France, he was, at the beginning of 1917, placed in charge of wireless at the Air Ministry for all theatres of war. Later in the same year he returned to France as wireless officer-in-chief of the Independent Air Force, and was promoted to the rank of Major and awarded the Military Cross. Since the war he, on more than one occasion, acted as consultant to the Air Ministry on wireless matters, and, for some two years, had been adviser on the same subject to 77re Times. His end had something of the tragic in it, for he was attending the official opening of the wireless-beam service to India when he was seized with sudden illness.

Major Vincent Smith had served on the Wireless Committee of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and on the Civil Aerial Transport Committee. He was a past-president of the National Association of Supervising Electricians; and had contributed papers to the Royal Artillery Institute at Woolwich, and to the-British Association. He was unmarried.

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