Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Arthur James Henderson

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Arthur James Henderson (1866-1949)

1950 Obituary [1]

"ARTHUR JAMES HENDERSON, whose death occurred in Kensington on 26th August 1949, was an expert on liquid fuels and was the inventor of the Henderson Patent Safety Fuel Tank for aeroplanes.

He was born in 1866 and on leaving Mill Hill School continued his studies at the Geneva Polytechnic and the Birkbeck Institute. In 1884 he entered the works of Messrs. J. and H. Gwynne (now Gwynnes Pumps, Ltd.), of Hammersmith, and on the completion of his articles four years later became assistant mechanical and marine engineer to Mr. F. Edwards.

Engagements then followed as mechanical draughtsman to Messrs. Tangyes, Ltd., Birmingham, engineers, and as general manager at the Hollywood Works of the Martino Steel Co, in the same city. From 1895 to 1901 he was in practice as consulting engineer and steel agent. He then entered the service of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, and for the next nine years acted as manager and superintendent at Newhaven Harbour.

On his return from New Zealand in 1914, where he had been engaged as engineer and general manager to the New Zealand Oilfields Company from 1901 to 1914, he was attached to the contracts department of the Ministry of Munitions. In 1918 he became a partner in the firm of Messrs. Bunge, Henderson and Company, Ltd., London, and, either directly or jointly, was responsible for the development of numerous inventions, several of which were in connection with motor transport.

In 1939 the Henderson Safety Tank Company, Ltd., was formed with Mr. Henderson as chairman, and many thousands of these safety tanks were supplied from their works at Elstree, Hertfordshire, to the order of the Air Ministry. Mr. Henderson had been a Member of the Institution since 1928 and was also a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. In addition he was chairman and a director of many mining companies and took an active interest in the resuscitation of the Cornish mines for the extraction of wolfram and other deposits."

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