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British Industrial History

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James Anderson (1873-1942)

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James Anderson (c1873-1942) of George Ellison

1942 Obituary [1]

It is with regret that we have to record the death, on August 14th, of Mr. James Anderson, M.I.E.E., who had been chief engineer of George Ellison, Ltd., Birmingham, for the past twenty-eight years.

The early years of Mr. Anderson's professional life was spent in South America., and at the age of twenty-seven he was appointed chief engineer at the Rasario power station.

Later he joined the staff of Ferranti, Ltd., and as outside superintendent was responsible for the erection of their equipment in this country and in the South African goldfields.

He joined the staff of George Ellison, Ltd., in 1914. During his association with that firm his activities were mainly directed to research.

He wrote numerous papers and articles, and was the author of "A Study by Means of Photography of the Interruption of Medium Power Electrical Circuits."

Mr. Anderson was sixty-nine years of age.

1942 Obituary [2]

JAMES ANDERSON received his technical training at Finsbury Technical College. He went to South America and while there became Chief Engineer of the power station at Rosario.

Returning to England he worked for a time with Mr. G. L. Addenbroke on the electrostatic voltmeter, and then was appointed Outside Superintendent on the staff of Messrs. Ferranti. In this capacity he in- stalled some of the earliest high-voltage alternating-current switchgear in this country, Ireland and South Africa. In 1914 he joined George Ellison, Ltd., and became Chief Engineer, holding this post until his death, which occurred at Birmingham on the 13th August, 1942, at the age of 69.

He paid particular attention to the welfare of students and staff. He contributed many articles on switchgear to the technical Press, and carried out a large amount of research work on circuit-breaking, some of which is recorded in "A Study by means of Photography of the Interruption of Medium-Power Electrical Circuits," published in 1935. Among his inventions was the rotating-arc circuit-breaker.

He was elected an Associate Member of The Institution in 1900 and a Member in 1911, and served for a time on the Committee of the South Midland Centre. In 1922 he was awarded a Premium for his paper on "Electric Motor Starters."

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