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British Industrial History

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William Hawthorne (1878-1957)

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William Hawthorne, Electrical engineer

c.1878 Born in Kircubbin, Co. Down

Educated at Queen's University, Belfast

1903 Started work in electrical engineering under Charles Merz

1905 Worked on the electrification of railways around Newcastle[1]

c.1906 Became a member of the firm Merz and McLellan. Member of Inst Civil Engineers

1912 Married Elizabeth Curle Greenfield in Newcastle[2]

Three sons including William Rede Hawthorne, who became Professor of Applied Mechanics at Cambridge, and Edward Peterson Hawthorne, research engineer[3], and John G. Hawthorne[4]

WWI Served in Army Supply Equipment Organisation, working on petrol electric locomotives and mobile power stations and generating plant

Involved in development of electricity supplies in many countries.

In the later years of his career he was mainly involved in planning the Galloway Hydro-Electric scheme.

c.1953 retired from Merz and McLellan

1957 Died at Esher in Surrey


1957 Obituary [5]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Civil Engineer Records
  2. BMD
  3. National Probate Calendar
  4. BMD
  5. 1957 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
  • The Times, Jan 10, 1958