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British Industrial History

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Edward James Rigby

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Edward James Rigby (1875-1938)

1938 Obituary [1]

EDWARD JAMES RIGBY was born at Sutton, near St. Helens, Lancs; in 1875. He was a grandson of Mr. Edward Borrows, who was born at Rainhill and went into business as a locomotive builder soon after the celebrated Rainhall locomotive trials. Mr. Rigby entered the Sutton works of his grandfather's firm in 1890 and served his apprenticeship until 1896. He was subsequently engaged as a draughtsman, and remained with the firm until 1900, having risen to be chief draughtsman. In the same year he became a draughtsman in the Corporation. Gas Department at St. Helens; he was subsequently appointed assistant engineer, and held this position until his death, which occurred at St. Helens on 11th March 1938.

Mr. Rigby, who was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1922, was closely associated with Mr. Samuel Glover in the design of the earliest Glover-West vertical retorts, which were installed experimentally in the gas works at St. Helens. He also designed and supervised the erection of a very large waterless gasholder at Peasley Cross in 1932. In addition he superintended several extensions to the gas works, the total amount of the contracts exceeding 4100,000.

With his brother, Mr. N. A. Rigby, he was joint holder of several patents, including a number of inventions relating to selective clutches and gearing for mechanical power transmissions, which were taken out between 1912 and 1921; he was also joint patentee of a locking device in connection with the bearings of cycle hubs.

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