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Henry Airton McInnes

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Henry Airton McInnes (1868-1927)

1927 Obituary [1]

HENRY AIRTON McINNES was born on the 11th August, 1868, and entered the Post Office service at Hull in 1883 as a telegraph learner. He became an established telegraphist in the same office two years later and immediately devoted himself to the study of electrical science, with a view to qualifying himself for the engineering side.

In 1891 he was successful in his object and took up duty in the office of the superintending engineer of the North-Eastern District. In those days the clerical staff in the superintending engineers' offices was recruited mainly by selecting the best technically qualified candidates available, and the clerical and engineering staffs worked in close association. The purely engineering class was recruited largely from those members of the clerical side who showed special aptitude for the work and who were considered competent to take administrative control of an engineering section.

Mr. Mclnnes was selected as second-class engineer in the Aberdeen Section in 1901.

Four years later he was promoted to the first class and transferred to Oxford, where he remained until 1924.

He was then transferred to the Designs Section at headquarters. The change from the active life of a country section to the more sedentary occupation of an assistant staff engineer in London did Mr. Mclnnes little good from the health point of view and in 1925 he underwent a serious operation. From the effects of his illness he never really recovered and he passed away on the 11th January, 1927.

He was keenly interested in apparatus design, with a special bent towards acoustics and sound-producing devices. While serving in the provinces he suggested and developed various ingenious novelties, among which was what might be called a "loud-speaking" relay which could be utilized for morse reception without involving the provision of a local sounder and battery. He was suave, courteous and kindly in disposition, and was loved and respected by everyone he encountered.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1910 and a Member in 1923.

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