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British Industrial History

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Martin Hamilton Kilgour

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Martin Hamilton Kilgour (1865-1946)

1946 Obituary [1]

MARTIN HAMILTON KILGOUR, M.B.E., who was born at Cheltenham in 1865, had been a Member of the Institution for nearly half a century, having been elected in 1899. On the completion of his general education at Fettes College in 1883, where he had held a scholarship, he took a two years' course in mechanical engineering at Finsbury Technical College, which he supplemented by a period of study at the City and Guilds Engineering College, South Kensington, extending over three years. After holding a temporary appointment on the staff of The Electrical Engineer, he joined the Brush Electrical Engineering Corporation, Ltd., and by successive stages rose from the position of ordinary assistant engineer to that of personal assistant to the chief engineer.

He relinquished this appointment in 1892, and proceeding to Cheltenham was engaged in an advisory capacity by the lighting committee of that borough in connection with the inauguration of the proposed electric supply undertaking. In 1895 Mr. Kilgour was appointed the first electrical engineer. In 1905 he went to the U.S.A., where he studied American practice in connection with electric power as well as methods of oil drilling in Texas. Entering the School of Mines at Denver, Colorado, in 1906, he obtained the diploma of E.M. (Engineer of Mines) two years later. During the next four years he was a consulting engineer to Messrs. Thomas Nevins and Sons, of New York.

Returning to England in 1914 he received in 1915 the appointment of assistant to division officer, Royal Engineers, at Chelmsford, and was a few months later made sole division officer, with direct responsibility to the C.R.E., Eastern Command, at Colchester. On relinquishing his post in 1919 he received the award of the M.B.E. With the exception of a brief engagement as representative in Cardiff for Messrs. T. Sugden and Company, Ltd., makers of super-heaters, the rest of his life was passed in retirement.

Mr. Kilgour, whose death occurred at Sidmouth on 5th. February 1946, in addition to being one of the oldest Members of the Institution, was also an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. Other affiliations included those of Member of the American Institution of Mining Engineers and Fellow of the American Institution of Electrical Engineers.

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