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Anthony George Maldon Michell

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Anthony George Maldon Michell FRS, (1870–1959), mechanical engineer

1870 Born in Islington, London, son of John and Grace[1]

1871 John Mitchell 44, miner, lived in Tavistock, with Grace Mitchell 42, Elizabeth Mitchell 15, Grace Mitchell 13, Amelia Mitchell 10, John Henry Mitchell 7, Anthony Mitchell 9 Months[2]

The family emigrated to Australia

1888 Entered Cambridge University

c.1905 Gained his first patent on the thrust bearing.

1920 Founded Michell Bearings, Ltd., Newcastle-on-Tyne

1923 Patents on crankless engines.

c.1925 Formed Crankless Engines Ltd of Melbourne and London to exploit his ideas

1926 Patent with Crankless Engines Ltd of Melbourne and London, on method of interconverting reciprocating and rotary motion

1928 Founded Michell Crankless Engineering Corporation, New York.

Inventor of a water-turbine; viscometer, and opposed piston crankless engine, etc.



1959 Obituary [3]

WE have learned with regret of the death of Mr. Anthony George Maldon Michell, which occurred at his home in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, February 17. Mr. Michell, who was eighty-eight, is particularly well remembered for the outstanding contributions which he made during his long career as an engineer to the theory and practice of lubrication.

Mr. Michell's education began in the State School, South Yarra, Victoria. At the age of fourteen he came to this country to attend the Perse School at Cambridge, following which he spent a year as a non-collegiate student of the University. During that year he attended lectures by J. J. Thomson and subsequently returned to Australia to study at the Melbourne University Engineering School.

He started to practise as a consulting engineer in Melbourne in 1903, gaining experience in various aspects of hydraulic engineering. In the succeeding years, Mr. Michell was responsible for a number of inventions, including a water turbine, a viscometer and the thrust bearing with which his name has become prominently associated over the years. Another of his inventions was a crankless engine.

Mr. Michell was the author of many technical papers and books, the most recent of them being Lubrication, its Principles and Practice, which he completed in 1951.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1934 and in 1938 he received the Kermut Medal of the University of Melbourne. Four years later, on the unanimous recommendation of the council of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Mr. Michell was awarded the James Watt International Medal for "his outstanding achievements as a scientist, a mathematician of international fame, an inventor and a producer."


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Sources of Information

  • Cambridge University Alumni