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British Industrial History

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Edmund Basil Wedmore

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Edmund Basil Wedmore (c1876-1956) of the Electrical Research Association

1926 Invention of the air-blast circuit-breaker by W. B. Whitney and E. B. Wedmore. Developed experimentally by the Electrical Research Association. This design was first produced commercially in Germany and Switzerland. [1]

1956 Obituary [2]

We learn with regret that Mr. E. B. Wedmore, who was formerly director of the Electrical Research Association, died on Saturday, June 16th, at the age of eighty.

Edmund Basil Wedmore was born in Bristol on January 24, 1876, and was educated privately and at University College, Bristol. He began his career in 1895 as a lecturer and demonstrator at Finsbury Technical College.

Four years later he joined the British Thomson-Houston Company, Ltd., as a design engineer, and he remained with the firm for twenty years.

Then, from 1919 to 1921, he served as technical officer on the Electrical Research Committee and in 1921 he was appointed director and secretary of the newly-established British Electrical and Allied Industries Research Association. From then until 1944, when he retired, he made numerous contributions to electrical knowledge, particularly in the field of switchgear.

His published work included many papers to the Institution of Electrical Engineers. In 1896 he was awarded a Students' Premium and in 1912 he published a paper with W. B. Hird discussing the weight efficiency of electric motors and prime movers. A paper on automatic protective switchgear for a.c. systems earned him the John Hopkinson premium in 1914. He was awarded an I.E.E. premium for his paper, in 1918, on the control of large amounts of power. In 1929 he (together with his co-authors, W. B. Whitney and C. E. R. Bruce) was awarded the I.E.E. Kelvin premium for a paper dealing with researches on circuit breaking. He became an associate of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1897, an associate member in 1902 and a member in 1912. In 1941 he was elected a member of council. He received the C.B.E. in 1938.

In his main recreation, bee-keeping, he earned distinction by his many contributions to the knowledge of the art and he was the author of "A Manual of Bee-keeping" and other standard works on the subject.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'Electricity Supply in the UK: A chronology' Electricity Council, c. 1987
  2. The Engineer 1956/06/22