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British Industrial History

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Thomas Andrew Common

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Thomas Andrew Common (1875-1940)

1940 Obituary [1]

THOMAS ANDREW COMMON was born in London on 18th March 1875 and was educated at a private school, after which he proceeded to Cambridge where he took an honours degree in the Mechanical Sciences Tripos. His practical training was acquired in the workshops of his father, Dr. A. A. Common, F.R.S., a distinguished engineer who was at one time President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and had made many lenses and telescopes, including the largest reflecting equatorial telescope then in existence.

Subsequently Mr. Common worked for two years in the office of Messrs. P. W. Meik, civil engineers, and then joined the firm of Messrs. Matthew Hall and Company, London, sanitary, heating, and hydraulic engineers, becoming a partner in 1898, and sole partner in 1912, a position which he held until he retired in 1936.

Mr. Common was known as a fine craftsman; indeed several models made by him were presented to the Science Museum, South Kensington, at the suggestion of Professor Dalby who was his demonstrator when he was at Cambridge, and became his lifelong friend.

Mr. Common was elected a Member of the Institution in 1916. He died on 20th June 1940, and in his will bequeathed to the Institution a silver loving cup which formerly belonged to George Stephenson. The Institution has also received a gift of books from Mr. Common's library.

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