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Lucien Alphonse Legros

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Institution of Automobile Engineers President 1911-12 and 1915-17.

Lucien Alphonse Legros (1866-1933), O.B.E., M.I.Mech.E., M.I.C.E.

Born 1866 the son of Professor Alphonse Legros, a well known artist who had emigrated to London.

1933 Obituary [1]

LUCIEN ALPHONSE LEGROS, O.B.E., was the eldest son of the late Alphonse Legros, and retained a close connexion all his life with French engineering. He had been a Past-President of the British Section of the Societe des Ingenieurs Civils de France.

He was born in 1865 and educated at University College School and the City and Guilds Institute. He then became a pupil of Messrs. Hunter and English.

In 1887 he entered the works of Messrs. Hick, Hargreaves and Company and later the Nine Elms shops of the London and South Western Railway.

In 1889 he became a Whitworth Exhibitioner. During the ensuing five years he was assistant works manager of the London Portland Cement Company, and was engaged on the Manchester Smoke Prevention Committee and with Messrs. Southby and Blyth, refrigerating engineers.

He was subsequently assistant for about two years to the late Sir A. B. W. Kennedy, M.I.Mech.E. (Past-President), and then became engineer to the Gas Traction Company and the British Traction Company.

In 1899 he was employed by Messrs. Burstall and Monkhouse in making a part survey of the Croydon tramways.

In 1900 he gained his first experience with the Wicks rotary type-casting machine and he was subsequently appointed engineer to the company and introduced improved designs and methods of production. He read an important paper on "Typecasting and Composing Machinery" before the Institution in 1908.

His interest in road vehicles commenced in 1904 when he entered into partnership with Mr. G. J. F. Knowles, A.M.I.Mech.E., and his high attainments as an automobile engineer are reflected in his election in 1911 and again during 1916-17 as President of the Institution of Automobile Engineers. He was awarded the first Starley Premium for his paper on "The Development of Road Locomotion in Recent Years" read before the Institution in 1910, and the Thomas Hawksley Gold Medal and the Starley Premium for his paper on "Traction on Bad Roads or Land" in 1918. He was also the recipient of the Alcan medal of the Societe des Ingenieurs Civils de France for his paper on military caterpillar traction.

During the War he was appointed assistant consulting engineer to the Admiralty Landship Committee and later in the Munitions Inventions Department, where his experience helped in the construction of monitors and the design of the first tanks.

Mr. Legros was joint author with Mr. J. C. Grant of a standard work on "Typographical Printing Surfaces."

He sat on many important commissions, including the International Electro-Technical Commission in 1912, the Mechanical Transport Advisory Board of the War Office, and the Treasury Committee on Type Faces.

Mr. Legros had been a Member of the Institution for nearly forty-five years, having been elected in 1889 as a Graduate and transferred in the following year to Membership. During 1921-2 he was a Member of Council. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. His tragic death as the result of a London street accident occurred on 16th June 1933.

1933 Obituary (Extract) [2]

He was educated University College School, London

He started as an apprentice at Hunter and English and later worked for the London and South Western Railway, Hick, Hargreaves and Co and the Portland Cement Co. He then worked for Sir Alexander Kennedy before joining the Gas Traction Co and then the Wicks Rotary Typecasting Co

He joined Iris Cars

WWI. He worked on the design of Tanks

He was President of the Institution of Automobile Engineers

He died on 16th June 1933 in a street accident.

1932/33 Obituary [3]

Lucien Alphonse Legros was born in 1864, and received his technical education at University College, where he succeeded in winning various scholarships and other awards, culminating, in 1889, in a Whitworth Exhibition.

After serving a general engineering apprenticeship, he spent periods in the shops of Hick, Hargreaves and Co and the London and South Western Railway, and in 1894 was appointed Engineer to the British Gas Traction Co, were he was responsible for the installation of numerous tramway systems.

His interest in motor vehicles commenced in 1904 as a partner in Legros and Knowles, manufacturers of the well-known Iris car. Later, as Engineer to Grant, Legros and Co, he was prominently connected with the type-casting industry, a sphere in which his knowledge was unrivalled.

During the War he was assistant consulting engineer to the Admiralty Landship Committee, and subsequently chief dilution officer (aircraft) at the Ministry of Munitions.

Mr. Legros was one of the original Members of Council of the Institution of Automobile Engineers when it was established in 1906, was President for the Sessions 1911-12 and 1916-17, and Acting-President for Session 1915-16 when Gen. Sir Capel Holden was unable to take office owing to War duties.

He was the author of numerous papers before the Institution and did an enormous amount of work, especially on the Publications Committee, in which capacity his great knowledge of composing and printing methods was invaluable.

He died on June 16th, 1933, at the age of 68, as the result of being knocked down in the street by a motor car.

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