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British Industrial History

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James Wilfred Harris

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James Wilfred Harris

1928 Obituary [1]

JAMES WILFRED HARRIS was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham, and served his time as a pupil at Piercy's Works in that city, and at the Electric Construction Co., Wolverhampton. At the latter place he went through the shops, the drawing office, and the testing and estimating departments, and was two years on outside work equipping central stations and tramways.

After leaving the Electric Construction Co. he was engaged during the following two years inspecting engineering work in Egypt, India, Burmah, China, and Japan. He then spent 12 months on the Pacific Coast of America, inspecting high-tension hydro-electric long-distance transmission schemes.

Later he was an engineer in charge of a shift at the works of the West Kootenay Electric Supply Co., which transmitted power from the Kootenay River to the mines and towns within a radius of from 50 to 60 miles.

He then went to Pittsburg and, after spending some time in the works and power houses of the Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Co. and the Westinghouse Machine Co., of Pittsburg, was sent over to this country to install the power and hydraulic plant and machine tools at Trafford Park, Manchester. He was engineer of works, having charge of all buildings, railway tracks, power plant, machine tools, and iron and steel foundries for several years.

He was afterwards appointed electrical engineer to the Dominion Iron and Steel Co. of Sydney, Nova Scotia, and had charge of all the electrical and mechanical plant, with exceptional opportunities of seeing electricity take the place of steam for application to all heavy-duty machinery such as rolling mills, cranes, charging devices, strippers, unloading devices, etc. In the design and application of plant for the generation and distribution of steam, gas, air and electricity he had large experience, and at the time of his death on the 14th January, 1928, he was joint governing director of Alfred Wiseman, Ltd., of Birmingham.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1905 and a Member in 1910.

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