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British Industrial History

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Sewell Powis Ambrose

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Sewell Powis Amrbose ( -1938)

1938 Obituary [1]

SEWELL POWIS AMBROSE, who had a very varied engineering career, was born in 1873 at Swaffham Prior, Cambs, and was educated at Felstead School, Essex, and the Perse School, Cambridge. He entered the Thetford works of Messrs. Charles Burrell and Sons, Ltd., in 1889 and served his apprenticeship until 1894, when he became a draughtsman at The Mint, Birmingham.

After holding similar appointments with Messrs. Belliss and Morcom, Ltd., Birmingham, and the British Thomson-Houston Company Rugby, he went to Portugal as works engineer to Empreza Industrial, Lisbon. From there he sailed to Montreal, and was appointed works engineer to the Laurie Engine Company. Subsequently he became mechanical engineer to the Stuart Machinery Company, Winnipeg, and mechanical superintendent of the Brandon Machine Works, Brandon, Manitoba. After a period as chief draughtsman on the Brandon, Saskatchewan, and Hudson Bay Railway, he went to San Francisco and took charge of inspection work for the San Francisco Harbour Commissioners in connection with the reconstruction of the harbour after the great earthquake of 1906.

In 1908 he was appointed supervising engineer to Messrs. McDonald and Wilson, Vancouver, B.C., and three years later he became constructional engineer at the Mainland Iron Works, Vancouver. During the War he returned to England and was responsible for the planning and erection of a Government cartridge factory at Blackpole, Worcester. He joined Messrs. Heenan and Froude, of Worcester, as engineering works superintendent, in 1919, but went again to British Columbia in 1923, and, as master mechanic, took charge of the construction of a dam and sluice gates for the British Columbia Electric Company at Stave Falls.

During 1925-6 he was responsible for erecting Gaintor gates on the Powell river, for Messrs. Stuart Cameron and Company. He subsequently went into business on his own account as a consulting engineer in Vancouver. His death occurred in Vancouver on 27th June 1938. He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1918.

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