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British Industrial History

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Thomas Carmichael

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Thomas Carmichael (1887-1945)

1946 Obituary [1]

THOMAS CARMICHAEL in the course of his career held important positions in the gas engineering industry and at the time of his death, which occurred on 26th June 1945, was deputy chairman and managing director of the Portsmouth and Gosport Gas Company. He will be remembered for the valuable services he rendered to the Institution as a member of the Southern Branch Committee from 1931 to 1935.

He was born in 1887 and received his technical education at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow. His apprenticeship was served from 1903 to 1911, first with Messrs. R. Laidlaw and Sons at their Barrowfield Ironworks and later in the engineering department of the Glasgow Corporation, in whose employment he continued as an engineering assistant for a further three years. After filling the position of superintendent of the Nottingham Corporation's gasworks at Eastcroft, he became, in 1916, chief assistant engineer and works manager at the Corporation's gas department at Basford. Three years later he began his long connection with the Portsmouth district, by his appointment as assistant engineer, which was followed in the same year by his promotion to the post of chief engineer.

In 1930 he took over the additional duties of general manager, and he joined the board of directors in 1935. During his period of office he designed and directed the installation of new plant and buildings costing L750,000. The many positions he held included the deputy chairmanship of the Southampton Gaslight and Coke Company and the chairmanship of the National Gas Council, Southern District. In addition he was a director of Associated Gas and Water Undertakings and of the Portsmouth Water Company, and a member of the British National Committee of the World Power Conference held in 1935.

During 1939-45 he served on the war emergency committee of the Joint Industrial Council as honorary secretary, and acted as gas engineering adviser of the southern region. Mr. Carmichael made numerous contributions to technical societies of which he was a member, and was awarded the H. E. Jones (London) Gold Medal in 1928. He also prepared an account of a visit to America in 1933, entitled "Impressions of the Gas Industry in America and Canada", in which he made particular reference to administration, accounting, and publicity.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1922.

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