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British Industrial History

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Thomas William Stainer Hutchins

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Thomas William Stainer Hutchins (1880-1927), managing director of the Electro Bleach and By-Products Co later part of Brunner, Mond and Co

1927 Obituary [1]

THOMAS WILLIAM STAINER HUTCHINS commenced an unusually active career with a three years' apprenticeship to Messrs. Edison and Swan in 1895.

He then joined the London and North Western Railway as a draughtsman in the telegraph department and became assistant manager of the department within three years.

In 1901 he became station manager of the Hanley Corporation electricity works and two years later joined the Industrial Engineering Company, Hyde, as outside engineer. Within the next two years he had become general manager of this firm.

From 1905 to 1907 he was managing director of the Mersey Engine and Produce Company, Liverpool, and he then joined the Power-Gas Corporation of Stockton-on-Tees as sales manager and engineer.

He had meanwhile taken out a number of patents, which eventually totalled about fifty, and he was supervising the manufacture of plant under these patents.

In 1914 he formed the Electro Bleach and By-Products company, whose plant he largely reconstructed.

He was a director of a number of public companies who controlled his patents. The most noteworthy of these related to the extraction of water and other liquids from solids which pass through a plastic state during treatment, and to rotary machinery for mixing, retorting, and dust-extraction. He contributed a paper on electrolytic iron to the first World Power Conference.

Mr. Hutchins was born in London in 1878 and became an Associate Member of the Institution in 1911 and a Member in 1925.

He died on 26th May 1927.

1927 Obituary [2]

"We regret to have to announce the death on Friday 27th of May, at his home, Hartford Lodge, near Norwich, of Mr Thomas William Stainer Hutchins, who was for some years the managing director of the Electro Bleach and By-Products Co at Middlewich, Cheshire, which was subsequently absorbed by Brunner, Mond and Co.

Mr Hutchins was formerly connected with the Mersey Engine Works and was the patentee of the suction gas plant which was afterwards taken up by the Power-Gas Corporation of Stockton-on-Tees. Mr Hutchins transferred his service to that company at the same time, and while he was so engaged, was responsible for a scheme for recovering ammounium sulphate from outcrop coal in Natal. During the late war the works of the Electro Bleach and By-Products Co were taken over by the Government for the manufacture of chlorine and other ingredients for gas warfare.

Mr Hutchins was a man with considerable inventive ability and during recent years had devoted attention to the apparatus for the electrolytic deposition of metals and the distillation of shales for oil, for which a company called the Fusion Syndicate, Middlewich was formed.

Mt Hutchins was elected an associate member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1911 and was transferred to full membership in 1925.

1928 Obituary [3]

THOMAS WILLIAM STAINER HUTCHINS was born on the 8th November, 1880, and died on the 26th May, 1927. He was the son of the late Mr. Thomas Hutchins, a civil engineer, and received both his general education and his technical education by private tuition.

He then obtained practical experience in the works of Messrs. Edison and Swan.

From 1898 to 1901 he held appointments in the telegraph department of the London and North Western Railway Co., first as draughtsman and subsequently as assistant manager of the department.

In 1901 he was appointed station engineer at the Hanley Corporation electricity works, but resigned two years later to join the Industrial Engineering Co., of Hyde, with whom he held positions as outside engineer, chief engineer and assistant to the general manager.

From 1905 to 1907 he was managing director of the Mersey Engine and Producer Co., of Liverpool. In the latter year he joined the Power Gas Corporation, Ltd., of Stockton-on-Tees, as sales manager and engineer, and superintended the manufacture and marketing of his various patents in connection with power plant.

In 1914 he formed and became managing director of Electro Bleach and By-Products, Ltd., of Middlewich, Cheshire, which took over the works of the Electrolytic Alkali Co., Ltd., and reconstructed them. The processes carried out at the re-equipped works were the manufacture of heavy chemicals by electrolytic methods.

The company's works came under the control of the Ministry of Munitions during the War and he devoted the whole of his time and inventive genius to the speeding-up of production.

After the War he continued to serve as managing director of the company and also had interests in a number of other companies which controlled his patents. These patents included the fusion rotary retort for the production of oil and spirit from bituminous materials by low-temperature distillation, a dust extractor, and methods of depositing metals by electrolytic processes.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1912 and became a Member in 1920.

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