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British Industrial History

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Fearnside Irvine

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Fearnside Irvine (1856-1929)

1930 Obituary [1]

FEARNSIDE IRVINE was born at Arbroath in 1856.

He was educated at Glasgow University and received his early engineering training with Messrs. Alexander Shanks and Son, at Arbroath, Messrs. J. and G. Thomson, and Messrs. P. and W. McLellan, at Glasgow.

His first appointments were those of assistant engineer to the Eastern Extension and Maintenance Cable Co., at Singapore, and assistant inspector of machinery for the Indian Government.

Later, he acted as assistant engineer at Calcutta Water Works, engineer to the Cape Government Railways and Southern Mahratta Railways, and engineer to the African Gold Recovery Co., for whom he designed and equipped the first cyanide gold-recovery plant in the Transvaal. His appointment as engineer and manager at Johannesburg of several gold-mining companies, including the New Modderfontein Gold Mining Co., brought him the responsible task of equipping the Heriot, Henry Nourse, City and Suburban, Robinson, Paarl Central, Gold Reef, and New Modderfontein gold mines.

From 1910 to 1913 he was engaged in re-equipping the Prestea Block A gold mines, Gold Coast Colony, the work including the design and installation of a complete modern power-station plant.

He will be best remembered for his 30 years' association with the Capetown Tramways, Port Elizabeth Electric Tramways, and Lisbon Electric Tramways, for which systems he held the position of consulting engineer in London up to the time of his death on the 2nd November, 1929.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1896.

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