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British Industrial History

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Arthur Ernest Angold

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Arthur Ernest Angold (1872-1929)


1929 Obituary [1]

ARTHUR ERNEST ANGOLD, one of the pioneers of electrical engineering, was born on the 28th December, 1872, and died on the 10th April, 1929.

He was educated at the Birkbeck College and received his early engineering training with Messrs. Richardson, of Grays Inn road.

In 1890 he designed and constructed at home his first arc lamp. He then joined Messrs. J. Torr Todman at Bermondsey and inaugurated for them an arc lamp department. His lamp was first shown at the second Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1892, and in the same year he carried out in the Borough High-street, on the mains of the old Deptford station, one of the first arc-lamp installations.

In 1892 the General Electric Co. took over the department and he was associated with Mr. M. J. Railing in the manufacture of arc lamps, transformers, choking coils and liquid resistances, at the Upper Thames-street works. His design of transformers 36 years ago closely corresponds with that of the present core type.

The original Angold open-type arc lamp soon became well known, and in due course he designed and produced his equally well-known enclosed and flame-type arc lamps. He also originated the idea of the magazine arc lamp, and was responsible for the design of some of the earliest studio and photographic arcs.

One of his most valuable contributions on the subject of arcs, and one of which least is known, was his work during the War in connection with the cooling of positive carbons for searchlight projectors for the Navy; in particular, he devised various mechanisms for simplified control and largely helped the development of arc lamp projectors capable of burning flame carbons, with their positives cooled by methylated spirit vapour.

His activities, however, were not confined to arc lamps. Throughout his career he was engaged in the most varied problems and contributed to the development of electrical machinery, switchgear and instruments, the subjects of his patents covering problems in connection with rotary convertors, motor convertors, transformers, winches and miners' hand-lamps (of which he was one of the leading experts), also gearing for oscillating fans, magnetos, automatic substation equipment, circuit breakers and relays.

In his later years he was prominently connected with automatic substation development and designed a novel type of high-speed circuit breaker which found universal application. The outstanding feature of his life was that he realized instinctively the fundamentals both on the electrical and on the mechanical side and grasped the solution of a problem before he started to work out the mechanical and mathematical details which had to be filled in. In short, he was imbued with that rare gift of seeing things before he produced them.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1920


1929 Obituary [2]



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