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British Industrial History

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Frederick Albert Nixon

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Frederick Albert Nixon (c1856-1916)

1926 Obituary [1]

FREDERICK ALBERT NIXON died on the 3rd July, 1926, at the age of 60. He received his early education at All Saints' School, Bloxham, and when 17 years of age attended for two years at the City and Guilds of London Technical Institute, afterwards taking a three-year course at University College, London, studying mechanical and electrical engineering.

In 1889 he went to the Brush Electrical Engineering Co. as a pupil, passing through the various departments of their works in London and Loughborough, including locomotive, stationary engine, dynamo work, and also spent some time in the drawing office. He was subsequently on the staff of the company, being employed on mains and station work in connection with a contract with the City of London Electric Lighting Co.

In 1892 he was appointed third engineer at the Eccleston-place station of the Westminster Electric Supply Corporation, and was promoted subsequently to second engineer.

In 1894 he was appointed superintendent of mains and underground work for this company under the direction of Dr. (now Sir) A. B. W. Kennedy, holding that appointment until 1897.

In that year he was appointed resident engineer for Messrs. Kincaid Waller and Manville, in connection with the South London Electric Supply Corporation undertaking, becoming in 1899 chief engineer to that company.

Later, as assistant to Messrs. Kennedy and Jenkin, he acted as resident engineer on the construction and equipment of the Greenhill electricity station at Oldham and was subsequently resident engineer for the Handsworth Urban District Council's electricity supply.

In 1905 he was appointed chief engineer for this local authority's supply undertaking.

In 1911 he received an appointment as engineer attached to the London staff of the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Co., Ltd., and when this company established an engineering department in London he organized the staff and was made head of the department, subsequently being appointed chief London engineer. During his 15 years' service with this company, Mr. Nixon was engaged upon important extensions to the Brakpan, Simmerpan and Rosherville stations. These extensions involved the installation of two 11 000 kW turbo-generators, three 12 500 kW turbo-generators, and three 7 135 kW turbo-compressors which, together with the boilers and auxiliaries, represented in the aggregate an additional 108 000 h.p. of plant.

During 1922 the company, on the recommendation of its engineers in South Africa, decided to build a power station at Witbank, and in 1923 the work in connection with this station, which it had been arranged should be the property of the Electricity Supply Commission pi South Africa, was started. The Witbank station consists of three turbo-generators, each the Post Office generating station at Blackfriars. In spite of his many professional interests, Mr. Roberts was by no means an engineer only: he was a lover of art and good literature - in particular of the poems of Keats and Shelley - and was himself a writer of more than average ability. Outdoors he was a keen yachtsman until in later years golf claimed his allegiance.

During the war of 1914-18 he gave his services on the engineering side of the Ministry of Munitions.

He joined the Institution as an Associate in 1874, and was elected a Member in 1887. He served on the Council in 1884-5.

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