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British Industrial History

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Arthur Gavey

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Arthur Gavey (1875-1937)

1937 Obituary [1]

ARTHUR GAVEY had an unusually wide experience of electrical power generation and transmission in three continents. He was born in Bristol in 1875 and served his apprenticeship from 1891 to 1895 in the workshops and drawing office of the Taff Vale Railway, after which he entered University College, Cardiff, where he studied for two years. He then went to sea as an assistant engineer in the Royal Navy, but three years later he turned his attention to electrical engineering, and after gaining some knowledge of Post Office engineering in London, he joined. Messrs. Siemens Brothers, Ltd., for whom he was engaged as constructional engineer in Durban and Johannesburg. In 1905 he was appointed resident engineer at Johannesburg Municipal Power Station; and three years later he went to Pretoria where he was engaged on the design and installation of the tramway system. During the period 1909-13 he held appointments as resident mechanical engineer to various gold-mining companies, with responsibility for the design and installation of all kinds of mine equipment and ore reduction plant. He subsequently went to South America as chief electrical engineer of the Chile Exploration Company, at Chuquicamato, and supervised the erection of 80 miles of 110,000-volt overhead transmission lines; he also built several distributing substations and designed mining equipment for the firm. In 1915 he returned to England and was appointed mechanical and electrical engineer at the Ministry of Munitions, with headquarters in the Institution building. He went to New Zealand after the War and established a practice as a consulting engineer in Auckland. He also held successive appointments in the Public Works Department as electrical engineer in charge of Christchurch, Shannon, and Mangahao. In 1925 he was made inspecting electrical engineer at the head office of the department, and he also acted as assistant to the chief electrical engineer, having charge of the direction of power plants.

Mr. Gavey's death occurred on 11th October 1937, at Hataitai, Wellington. He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1904 and was transferred to Membership in 1919. He was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

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