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Whiston Alfred Bristow

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Whiston Alfred Bristow (1879-1949)

1939 M.I.E.E., F.R.Ae.S. Consulting Engr. Chairman and Managing Director, Low-Temperature Carbonisation, Ltd., 28, Grosvenor Place. London, S.W.1. Private address: 22, Hans Court, Hans Road, London, S.W.1. Also Chairman, Low-Temperature Coal Distillers' Assocn. of Great Britain, Ltd.; Managing Director, Doncaster Coalite, Ltd.; Chairman, Derbyshire Coalite Co.. S. Wales Coalite Co., and L.T.C. Distillates, Ltd.; Partner, Wilson, Parker & Bristow, Cons. Engrs.

1949 Obituary [1]

"...Colonel Bristow was born in 1879, and received his early education at the Central Foundation School, London, after which he studied mechanical and electrical engineering at Finsbury Technical College. He was apprenticed with the Lilleshall Company of Wellington, Shropshire, and was trained in general engineering work..." more

1950 Obituary [2]

"Colonel WHISTON ALFRED BRISTOW, whose death occurred in London on 24th March 1949, at the age of seventy, was an engineer of remarkable versatility. He will be remembered as a pioneer in aviation, in electrical engineering, and also in the low-temperature carbonization of coal and extraction of oils and chemicals from coal. He received his general education at the Central Foundation Schools, London, and took a three years' course in mechanical engineering at the Finsbury Technical College.

After serving his apprenticeship from 1896 to 1898 with the Lilleshall Company, of Wellington, Shropshire, he secured a post as assistant engineer in the Rheinische Gasmotoren Fabrik, at Mannheim, transferring a year later to the Schorch Motor Co, of Dusseldorf, as assistant manager, who subsequently appointed him their general manager for the North of England. In 1909 he joined the staff of Messrs. Siemens Brothers, Dynamo Works, at Stafford, and later spent some time with the Siemens Schukert Company, in Berlin.

He began his connection with aviation in 1915 with the grant of a commission in the Royal Naval Air Service and rose to the rank of commander. He was responsible for testing, in actual flight, many of the early aero-engines and did much valuable work in connexion with the design, manufacture, and testing of magnetos, for the supply of which, and sparking plugs, to the R.N.A.S., the Air Ministry, and the Ministry of Munitions he was made responsible. Subsequently he transferred to the R.F.C. and, rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, was in 1918 made chief engineer in the Field for both the Army and Navy. Later in the same year he was lent to the government of the United States to collaborate in the design and manufacture of the "Liberty" aircraft engines, and assisted in drawing up plans for the equipment of the American Air Force.

In the spring of 1919 he attended the Peace Conference as one of the technical advisers of the British Delegation. On demobilization he joined the firm of Messrs. Ogilvie and Partners, aeronautical consulting engineers, and successively was given sole charge of the Handley Page and Instone Airlines. In 1927 Colonel Bristow became interested in low-temperature carbonization and in less than ten years established a highly successful and profitable industry which has proved of great benefit to the nation. Besides being chairman and manager of Low Temperature Carbonisation, Ltd. (now known as Coalite and Chemical Products, Ltd.), he occupied the chair of numerous other allied companies and was a past-president of the Association of Tar Distillers.

For his services to aviation he was awarded the gold medal of the Institute of Transport and was the first Lloyd's Surveyor of Aircraft. Colonel Bristow was elected a Member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1920. He was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and of the Institute of Fuel, of which he was vice-president from 1938 to 1946."

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