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British Industrial History

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Burkewood Welbourn

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Burkewood Welbourn (c1876 - July 1, 1961)

1961 Obituary [1]

'Mr. Burkewood Welbourn, who died on July 1, at the age of eighty-five, was one of the pioneers of the electrical cable industry and was, for much of his working life, concerned with the installation of power cables in all parts of the world.

On leaving Framlingham College at the age of seventeen he went to study electrical engineering under John Hopkinson, at King's College, London University. Having graduated, he stayed at King's for a time as a demonstrator, and was then appointed works manager of the Electrochemical Company at St. Helens. In 1900 he took the post of contracts manager of the British Insulated Wire Company of Prescot, one of the parent firms of the present B.I.C.C. group; thus he became responsible for the installation of his company's cables throughout the world. His work involved extensive travels, including a trip to Russia where, in 1910, he was instrumental in setting up a company to make cables under licence from British Insulated. In 1927, he was appointed chief engineer of B.I., succeeding Mr. W. H. Nisbett who became managing director of the company.

Mr. Welbourn was for many years extremely active in the affairs of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. He was elected an Associate in 1897 and transferred to Associate Membership in 1902 and to full membership in 1907. From 1915 to 1916 he was chairman of what was then the Manchester Local Section. He was the first chairman of the Mersey and North Wales Centre of the I.E.E. in 1922-23 and again in 1933-34. He became a Member of Council of the Institution in 1919 and served as vice-president from 1929 to 1932. The author of many I.E.E. papers, he was awarded the Institution's Paris premium in 1914.'

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