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British Industrial History

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William Herbert Blaker

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William Herbert Blaker (1875-1941)

1941 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM HERBERT BLAKER was born in 1875 and educated at St. Charles's Grammar School and Pietermaritzburg College, Natal. He came to London in 1893 and continued his technical studies at the Crystal Palace Engineering School until 1896, when he became a pupil for one year to Mr. P. Nevill, engineer to the Isle of Man Harbour Board. From 1897 to 1900 he was assistant engineer, being engaged during that period on the design of mechanical appliances for Battery Pier repairs, and on designs and estimates for various harbour works. He returned to South Africa in 1900 and became assistant engineer to Sir John Jackson, Ltd., on the contract for the Admiralty harbour works at Simonstown.

In 1904 he obtained a similar appointment under the Natal Government Harbour Department. He relinquished this post in the following year in order to return to the Isle of Man as chief engineer to the Harbour Commissioners, a position which he held until his retirement in 1936. His most important undertaking was the preparation and execution of the harbour improvements at Douglas, and the construction of the King Edward VIII pier, which was officially opened in 1936 by Lord Simon. In addition he acted in an advisory capacity to the Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Man, in connection with various engineering matters, and held official inquiries into railway accidents, boiler explosions, etc.

Mr. Blaker, whose death occurred on 12th September 1940, was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1905. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

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