Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Charles John Robertson

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Charles John Robertson (1860-1909)

1860 Born in Clerkenwell[1], son of James and Isabella Robertson; James was a Sheffield agent[2]

1871 His father was a bullion dealer and refiner[3]

Attended Charterhouse and Merchant Taylors Schools

c.1878 3 year course at Finsbury Technical College

1881 Pupil in lamp department of Brush Co

1881 Living with his widowed mother in Highbury, a bullion dealer and jeweler, as was Charles and his brothers [4]

1883 Assistant manager of lamp department of Pilsen-Joel and General Electric Co

1884 Manager of the lamp department

1885 Manager of the Bernstein Co

1886 Equipped and managed a works in the Netherlands

1886 of Madeley Road, Ealing, London W, became an associate of the Inst Electrical Engineers

Around 1890 he was considered for a senior position by Philips in the Netherlands but was not offered the position; instead he went to Vienna and over the next 2 years established the "Watt" lamp works[5]

1891 In partnership in Vienna; designed and equipped works; afterward produced the "Watt" lamp

1892 Established with others (Hugo Hirst) the Incandescent Lamp Co Ltd, fitting up Brook Green Works.

1900 Member of IEE; Technical and managing director of Incandescent Lamp Co[6]

1901 Engineer, of Ealing, joined The Masons[7]

1901 Living at 14 Park Hill, Ealing: Charles Robertson (age 40 born Clerkenwell), Director of Company - Employer. With his wife Margaret Robertson (age 33 born St. Luke's, London). Two servants.[8]

1909 October. Died. 'Mr. Charles Robertson, inventor of the Robertson electric lamp, has died at his residence at Ealing. Mr. Robertson, who was only forty-nine, started an electric lamp factory Hammersmith in 1892, and large business was built up.'[9]

1910 Obituary [10]

CHARLES J. ROBERTSON was born in 1860, and educated at the Merchant Taylors' School, where he gained a scholarship at St. John's College, Oxford.

He afterwards studied chemistry under Professor Armstrong, and electrical engineering under Professors Ayrton and Perry at Finsbury Technical College.

His connection with the lamp-making industry commenced in 1881, when he joined the Anglo-American Brush Company, and was associated with Mr. St. John Lane-Fox, one of the pioneers of the lamp industry.

After working with various lamp companies in London and on the Continent and devoting considerable time to research work, he formed the Robertson Incandescent Lamp Company at Brook Green, and was manager and technical director until the time of his death, which took place on October 11, 1909.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1901 census
  2. 1861 censu
  3. 1871 census
  4. 1881 census
  5. The History of N. V. Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken: Volume 2, By A. Heerding
  6. Electrical Engineer Membership form
  7. United Grand Lodge of England Freemason Membership Registers
  8. 1901 Census
  9. Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 11 October 1909
  10. 1910 Institution of Electrical Engineers: Obituaries
  • Electrical Engineer Lists