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British Industrial History

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Leonard William Holmes

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Leonard William Holmes (1859-1933), of J. H. Holmes and Co.


1934 Obituary.[1]

LEONARD WILLIAM HOLMES was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1859, and died at Worthing on the 21st November, 1933. Part of his early life was spent in Australia, but a year or two after the founding, in 1883, of the firm of J. H. Holmes and Co. as electrical engineers in Newcastle-on-Tyne, he returned to England and opened their London office, of which he had charge for many years. In those early times, nearly half a century ago, pioneering was the order of the day, and he had his share in many new and interesting developments in electrical engineering. His geniality and bonhomie will be vividly recalled; his were the manner and bearing that make men popular, and his persistence, added to his affability, was a great asset to him in his part in the building-up of his firm's business.

One of the important early installations with the furnishing of which he was connected was that of Messrs. Maple and Co., of London. It was carried out in 1888, and was a notable generating equipment in its day, before electric supply had been generally brought to the doors of consumers by public undertakings. In many other directions he helped to spread the use of electricity; in 1897 he negotiated the acquisition by his firm of the patent rights for " Lundell " motors, which had a great vogue in their application to industrial electric drives, particularly in printing-works and newspaper-offices, where the development of the Holmes-Clatworthy duplex-motor principle led to the widespread adoption of the electric drive both at home and abroad.

Mr. Holmes retired from the firm of J. H. Holmes and Co. in 1908, after an illness, and subsequently turned his attention to matters outside the electrical industry. He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1889.



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