Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,415 pages of information and 233,868 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Herbert Watson Sullivan

From Graces Guide

Revision as of 09:30, 13 June 2016 by Ait (talk | contribs) (Created page with "Herbert Watson Sullivan ( -1925) founder of H. W. Sullivan ---- '''1925 Obituary <ref>1925 Institution of Electrical Engineers: Obituaries </ref> HERBERT WATSON SULL...")
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Herbert Watson Sullivan ( -1925) founder of H. W. Sullivan

1925 Obituary [1]

HERBERT WATSON SULLIVAN joined the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Co., Ltd., in 1870 and served a three years' apprenticeship with them, at the conclusion of which he joined the Eastern Telegraph Co., with whom, during a period of six years, he undertook the charge of the electrical arrangements of their Gibraltar station and assisted the late Mr. C. V. de Sauty in the first successful duplex experiments on long submarine cables.

The almost continuous ill-health that so seriously handicapped Mr. Sullivan's career then made itself apparent, and he was invalided home, but with characteristic courage and determination he resumed his duties within a few months, and served with the staff afloat for two years.

Rejoining the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Co. in 1879 he assisted at many important cable-laying undertakings, including the Ireland-Newfoundland, Singapore-Batavia, Lisbon-Madeira duplicate, Suez-Aden triplicate, and the Straits of Sunda and Mozambique-Zanzibar duplicate.

Subsequently he became associated with two French companies, La Compagnie Francaise des Cables Telegraphiques and La Societe Industrielle des Telephones, for whom he installed and organized a number of cable stations in various parts of the world. He served as electrician-in-chief and consulting engineer respectively during the manufacture and submersion of the last French Government cables between Marseilles and Tunis, and between the Australian Continent and New Caledonia.

In 1897 Mr. Sullivan established himself in business in order to manufacture certain patented instruments, together with cable, testing, and telegraph signalling apparatus generally. The universal galvanometer which he invented and developed achieved instant and world- wide reputation, and the whole range of work he produced showed in a marked way the predominating characteristic of the man—that of taking infinite pains. The business steadily increased in prosperity and reputation, and in its administration Mr. Sullivan exhibited that rare combination of firmness and tact that has guided it through many difficulties and endeared him to those who have had the pleasure of working under him.

The valuable assistance which he rendered to the Government in the early days of the war, mainly in the development of wireless telegraphy, laid the foundations of an extensive connection with the Home Departments and Foreign Governments, and with the expressed wish of providing for its continuance after his death, Mr. Sullivan in 1922 formed the business into a limited company.

During the last few years it became clear that his health was so impaired that he should take more rest from the continuous detail work entailed by the company's ever-expanding activities, but his determination to continue was unbroken and he died, as he would have wished, in harness.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1878 and a Member in 1892.

See Also


Sources of Information