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Herbert Dudley Barlow

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Herbert Dudley Barlow (1868-1919) of Barlow Brothers and Co

1919 Obituary [1]

BERT DUDLEY BARLOW was born in London in 1868, and received his early education at Brighton Grammar School.

His natural gifts as an engineer very soon developed and in 1885 he went to Finsbury Technical College to study as an electrical engineering student under Dr. Silvanus P. Thompson; but, unfortunately, ill-health very soon checked his enthusiasm and he was compelled to abandon his college training.

Under the doctor's advice, he booked a passage in a sailing ship bound for Australia. It had been arranged that he should make a complete voyage round the world, but on his arrival in Sydney he felt that the Australian climate suited him and, although he had only a few casual acquaintances as friends, he determined to make Australia his temporary home, and allowed the ship to continue its voyage without him.

He was then only 17 years of age, but, with his love of adventure and unusual pluck, he never doubted the success of his undertaking. Within a short time he obtained a position as assistant manager to an electrical engineering firm in Melbourne, and then it was that his ability as an engineer became conspicuous. For five years he was gradually improving his position with this firm and at the same time gaining that fund of practical experience which, in his case, always formed so good a substitute for a more scientific training.

In the following year he was appointed assistant to Professor Threlfall at Sydney University, and carried out many experiments during the 12 months that he remained in that position. It was always a regret to him that he had not been able to complete his college career, but it is doubtful whether his experience in Australia was not even more valuable to him as an essentially business man.

By this time his old associations began to appeal to him. He had served his apprenticeship, and with his ever undaunted self-confidence he decided to return to his native country and set up a business of his own. In order to establish some connections here, he first went to Paisley as chief electrical engineer to Messrs. J. and P. Coats and gained considerable distinction.

Three years later he went to London, and in partnership with his brother, Leonard Barlow, established the firm of Messrs. Barlow Brothers and Company. The partnership was dissolved four years later.

He passed away on the 22nd July, 1919, after a long and trying illness borne with great courage and patience. Those who knew him will never forget his bright personality, his unusual pluck and perseverance in the face of the many hardships and trials that he was called upon to face.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1891 and a Member in 1898.

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