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British Industrial History

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William Chew

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William Chew (1855-1924)

1924 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM CHEW was born in Manchester in 1855, moving in 1863 to Blackpool, where he joined his father at the gas-works a few years later.

In his early days, although attached to the gas industry, he took a keen interest in the development of electricity. He was responsible for the introduction of electric lighting into Blackpool and held the dual appointment of electrical engineer and assistant gas engineer until 1893, when, owing to the growth of the undertakings, it became necessary to separate the two departments.

He succeeded his father in 1913 as manager of the gas-works. He was always proud of the fact that he was the first to light a seaside esplanade in this country with electric arc lamps. These were on 9 steel masts each 50 ft. high, and each lamp was run from a separate dynamo. Although continuing in the gas industry he took a broad-minded view and quickly introduced electric power where it could be advantageously used in the gas-works.

He died on the 9th April, 1924.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1893.

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