Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Lancelot Edward Wilson

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Lancelot Edward Wilson ( -1941)

1941 Obituary [1]

LANCELOT EDWARD WILSON was recognized as a pioneer in the electrical industry. He commenced his business career with the National Telephone Co., during which time he did much to perfect the electrophone (the first music by wire) and installed it at Windsor Castle for Queen Victoria to listen on her 80th birthday to Melba. For this he was presented with an inscribed gold watch. He was also in attendance on King Edward (then Prince of Wales) at Marlborough House, where many members of the Royal family were present.

Later he was transferred to Manchester as Chief Electrician and was concerned with the change-over to the common-battery system in Manchester and district, and he also installed the first private branch common-battery exchange in that area.

He started business in Manchester on his own account in 1905, undertaking complete electrification of all types of factories, including cotton and woollen mills, also institutions, private house plants and large telephone installations.

As early as 1907 he was installing paper-insulated cables inside factories with oil-immersed switchgear. Even in those early days of textile mill electrification he had five complete plants in hand at the same time, including individual loom drives which were a novel feature at that time.

He was appointed consultant to the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. on field communications in Persia, i.e. telephone and telegraphic, and having completed a very large and up-todate system was retained for many years in an advisory capacity by the company. The development of fields under the control of this company was so swift and extensive during the period 1914—18 that it necessitated three large extensions to the field communications, and these were controlled and completed under his direction.

Later he was commissioned by another oil company to superintend the putting into commission of the first electrical plant on their field; this necessitated a visit to the British West Indies.

Extensively travelled and of wide experience, he was elected an Associate Member of The Institution in 1912, prior to which he had read a paper before it on "Telephone Development."

In 1936 he became a full Member. He was for some years Chairman of the Manchester Branch of the Electrical Contractors' Association and also Honorary Secretary to the Electrical Industries Benevolent Association. He served on the Manchester City Council for 3 years, during which time he was a member of the Electricity Committee.

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