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Alexander Archie Jude

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Alexander Archie Jude (1875-1947), chief turbine designer to Belliss and Morcom


1947 Obituary [1]

Mr. A. A. Jude died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, on 8 March 1947.

Mr. Jude, who was for many years chief turbine designer to Messrs. Belliss and Morcom, Ltd., Birmingham, was born at Norwich on 29 June 1875 and was educated at the King Edward VI School, Norwich. He then received a technical education in engineering subjects generally, and was awarded a Whitworth Exhibition in 1893.

He served his apprenticeship, between the years 1890-1896, in marine engineering, with Earle's Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Ltd., Hull, and was employed by them for 5 years subsequently as a draughtsman.

He joined Belliss and Morcom, Ltd., in 1901, and was employed as a leading draughtsman in the design and development of their larger triple-expansion steam engines. Concurrently, he undertook research into the design of the steam turbine, producing the firm's first experimental turbine in 1904. The development of this type of prime mover became Mr. Jude's life's work, and he ranks with Parsons, Rateau, Curtis, and DeLaval as a creator of an entirely successful and original turbine. From then on he took complete charge of design and development of Messrs. Belliss and Morcom's steam turbines.

He was a man of great originality and inventive ability. Among his many achievements in turbine construction was the design of the first 3000-r.p.m., 10,000-kW. turbine built in this country, supplied to the West Ham Corporation. In 1906 he published a treatise on the theory of the steam turbine, which embodied much of his early experimental work and experience, and to-day his treatise is still regarded as being an outstanding work on this subject.

He was a man of wide culture and interests gardening was his particular hobby; he was also a keen musician and no mean painter in water colours. These pursuits absorbed most of his leisure time for many years.

He was elected a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1911, was for many years a Member of the Birmingham Metallurgical Society, and was an Original Member of the Institute of Metals. E. L. MORCOM.


1947 Obituary [2]

"STEAM engineers will learn with regret of the death of Mr. Alexander Archie Jude, which took place at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, on Saturday, March 8th, in his seventy-first year. For many years he was chief turbine designer to Belliss and Morcom, Ltd., of Ledsam Street Works, Birmingham. Mr. Jude was born in the City of Norwich in 1875, and he received his early education at King Edward VI School, Norwich. After completing his technical education in general engineering subjects, he was apprenticed to Earle's Shipbuilding and Engineering Co, of Hull. He began to serve his six years' apprenticeship course in 1890 and in 1893 he was successful in gaining a Whitworth Exhibition. On completing his apprenticeship in 1896 he stayed with the firm for a further five years in the drawing-office...[more]


1948 Obituary [3]

"ALEXANDER' ARCHIE JUDE, Wh.Ex., was born at Norwich in 1875. He was educated at King Edward's School, Norwich, and from there went on as an apprentice to Earle's Shipbuilding Company. In 1893 he was awarded a Whitworth Exhibition.

Mr. A. E. Seaton, who was General Manager and a Director of Earle's at the time, formed a high opinion of the young man and recommended him to his old Naval College friend, Alfred Morcom. As a result, A. A. Jude moved to Birmingham in 1901 to take up a position on the staff of Messrs. Belliss and Morcom, where his genius would have the opportunity to develop. His first work there was to take charge of the design of large size triple-expansion engines, for which there was a big demand both at home and abroad. With characteristic thoroughness he carried out research on strength of materials, metallurgy, vibration, and any other problems which would help his work to perfection.

At this time the competition of the steam turbine was becoming serious, so he turned his attention to this development. The barrage of patents was formidable. He studied with great care the work of his celebrated predecessors, Parsons, Rateau, Curtis, and de Laval, and ultimately found gaps in their coverage whereby he was able to design a novel and successful turbine. His first three efforts were purely experimental; then two were used in 1904 for generating power in Belliss and Morcom's power house. Finally, the results having been satisfactory, the first sale was made in 1905 of a 2,000 kW., 1,500 r.p.m. set to Aston Corporation. His thoroughness is illustrated by the fact that in 1906 he published a textbook on the steam turbine, which many engineers consider to be a classic summary.

In 1918 he studied the important problem of large high-speed turbines, and had the design of a 3,000 r.p.m., 10,000 kW. turbine completed in the following year. He also worked out a very original type of turbo-compressor, and at the time of his death was busy in that sphere of design.

His mind was never idle, and in his leisure he was still a thorough-going research worker. For instance, he delighted to practice the science of tree pruning, and when cycling or motoring he preferred a freak machine with gadgets of his own invention. During the war he worked out a device for the rapid location of bombs and incendiaries, and this was used 'with good effect in eight places in the Birmingham area. Like many mathematicians he was a keen musician, and in this field his mechanical bent led him to invent improvements in church organ details.

Industry as a whole owes much to his clear scientific insight into the principles of high-speed mechanism." (Lt.-Colonel R. K. Morcom, C.B.E., M.I.Mech.E.)



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