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British Industrial History

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William Lawson

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William Lawson (1871-1935)


1935 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM LAWSON took a leading part in the early development of gas engine plants in England and was also associated with the introduction of plant for the utilization of blast furnace gases.

He was born at Hylton, Co. Durham, in 1871 and became an apprentice in the Sunderland works of Messrs. W. Doxford and Sons, Ltd., in 1886, serving for five years.

He became a draughtsman at Messrs. Richardsons, Westgarth and Company, Ltd., in 1896 and in 1897 was appointed assistant outside manager. In 1900 he was promoted to be assistant general manager.

He went to Berlin in the following year as manager under Mr. A. E. Henrici of a firm manufacturing patent rotary piston engines. In addition he studied the development of the Cockerill gas engine on the Continent, in order to investigate its possible application in England.

On his return to this country he rejoined Messrs. Richardsons, Westgarth, and commenced his work on the design and erection of large engines to utilize blast furnace gas, which were the first of their kind in England.

Mr. Lawson then joined the British Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Company, Ltd., as sales manager of the gas engine department.

He subsequently held similar positions with Messrs. Crossley Brothers, Ltd., and with the Power-Gas Corporation, Stockton on Tees.

Latterly, Mr. Lawson had been in business on his own account as a consulting engineer; he also acted as agent for several British engineering firms.

His death occurred in Stockton on Tees on 28th August 1935.

He had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1902.


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