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British Industrial History

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Alfred Eggington

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Alfred Eggington (1841-1917)

1918 Obituary [1]

ALFRED EGGINGTON, who was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, on the 26th January, 1841, and died at Rome on the 7th March, 1917, was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1872, and a Member in 1877.

He entered the telegraph service in 1857, in the Submarine Telegraph Company, and the Government service three years later under an engagement to proceed to the Malacca Straits to work the Rangoon cable.

He joined the first of the three large steamers chartered by Messrs. Siemens and Halske, the Queen Victoria, which, after various minor disasters and delays, ran aground at Wilderness Point, under Mount Edgcumbe, and became a wreck.

He then entered the United Kingdom Company, which was then fighting its powerful rivals, the Electric and Magnetic Companies, and in 1861 accepted an appointment under Messrs. Glass, Elliott and Company to proceed to Italy, to supervise the transit of the English telegrams to and from the East.

In 1862 he was appointed to Bengasi station (Barbary), and after four years in Africa returned to Italy.

In 1868 he was clerk in charge of the Turin office of the Susa-Modica line, belonging to the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company, and remained there until appointed by the new Societe du Cable Francaise as office superintendent at Brest.

He returned to Italy at Christmas 1869 to become general superintendent of the above-mentioned Susa-Modica line.

Since that time until his death he represented the Eastern Telegraph Company in Italy, his headquarters being at Rome. King Humbert some years ago conferred upon Mr. Eggington the Cross of the Crown of Italy and the title of Chevalier. In 1887 he was promoted to a higher grade of the same Order, in 1899 he was created Chevalier Mauriziano, and in 1906 the title of Commendatore was bestowed on him.

His death removes another and almost the last of the pioneers of cable telegraphy, and his loss is deeply regretted by his colleagues and by all those with whom he was in social or business relations.

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