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British Industrial History

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Walter Emmott

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Walter Emmott (1854-1935) of Blakey, Emmott and Co

1935 Obituary [1]

WALTER EMMOTT, who was born in 1854 and died on the 4th March, 1935, was a pioneer of telephony and electric lighting, particularly in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He spent most of his working life in Halifax and was partner with the late Edmund Blakey in the firm of Blakey, Emmott and Co.

In 1880 they opened the first telephone exchange in Leeds, later taken over by the United Telephone Co., which subsequently merged into the National Telephone Co. They also constructed the first successful trunk telephone line between Leeds and Bradford.

At their works in Square Road, Halifax, dynamos and instruments were made in the eighties and until 1894, when Mr. Emmott started on his own account as a consulting electrical engineer. He was a principal promoter of the Halifax Electric Light and Power Co., which built and equipped the first electricity undertaking. Another subsidiary which he helped to found, and of which he was a director, was the Northern Electric Wire and Cable Manufacturing Co.

As a consulting engineer he was retained by a number of municipalities and urban district councils in Yorkshire; he also carried out the electrification of many factories in the North of England.

He took a prominent part in the formation of the Leeds Local Section (now the North Midland Centre) of the Institution, and was chairman in 1904-5. When in his seventies he helped to found, and was the first president of, the Halifax Wireless Club. He was also a life member of the Halifax Scientific Society. He was a prominent Freemason and was given a Masonic funeral.

He joined the Institution as an Associate in 1818, and became a Member in 1886.

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