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British Industrial History

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William Howard Tasker

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William Howard Tasker (1857-1924)

1924 Obituary [1]

HOWARD TASKER, who was born in 1857 and who died on the 17th September, 1924, was educated at Eastbourne and Guildford and trained as an architect - his father's profession.

Dr. Graham Bell's lecture in London on the telephone in 1878 turned Mr. Tasker's thoughts to electrical engineering. He made in his own workshop many models of telephonic and electrical apparatus, and later these models were used when giving evidence in the Law Courts. He worked as an improver in the shops of Messrs. Warner and Lee, mechanical engineers, London, and studied at the School of Submarine Telegraphy and Electrical Engineering, representing it at the first British Exhibition of Electrical Engineering held at the Crystal Palace in 1882.

He was assistant electrician to the Yorkshire Brush Electrical Engineering Co. He erected for them, and subsequently managed, the first central electric lighting station at Middlesbrough, supplying electricity to the North-Eastern Steel Works and neighbouring blast furnaces, and while with the Brush Company he advised several local engineering works on their electrical plant.

During his career he worked as an engineer for the Primary Battery Co., Ltd., the Fitzgerald Electric Light and Power Co., Ltd., and the Union Electric Light and Power Co., Ltd., and was for many years with the Chelsea Electricity Supply Co., Ltd., which was the first supply company in London to get to work under the Electric Lighting Act of 1886. As resident engineer he carried out for the Brush Company the contract for the supply of electricity at Dover, and he was subsequently connected with the British Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Co., Ltd., and with the Hart Accumulator Co., Ltd.

He had a charming personality and was an enthusiast in both work and play.

He organized the first bicycle road-racing teams in Surrey in 1875 and 1876 and was a keen lacrosse player, representing the South more than once in the annual North v. South match.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1882 and a Member in 1891.

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