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George Kift Winter

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George Kift Winter (1842-1898), M.I.C.E., F.R.A.S.

1898 Died aged 55 on On the 18th January, at Arkonnm, Madras.


1898 Obituary [1]



1899 Obituary [2]

GEORGE KIFT WINTER was born on the 7th of March, 1842, and died in Madras on the 17th of January, 1898.

He was the second son of the late Mr. William Winter, a surgeon, residing at Henbury, near Bristol, and was educated at the Godolphin School in Hammersmith. The greater portion of his life was spent in India, where he served from 1864 to the time of his death, first as assistant, and later as Chief Telegraph Engineer of the Madras Railway.

Prior to this he was in the employment of the Electric and International Telegraph Company, and during the later period of his service with them was associated with Mr. W. T. Ansell in the construction of their lines in Ireland.

Mr. Winter's professional ability and technical knowledge were combined in an unusual degree with the power of organisation and the faculty of inventiveness, as well as with great amiability of character, so that his department rapidly attained to a high degree of efficiency, and his assistants and subordinates were warmly attached to his person. At the same time his interests extended beyond the immediate sphere of his professional duties, as evidenced by his connection with the University of Madras and his association with the Government Astronomer of Madras in observations made during the solar eclipses of 1868 and 1871.

Among his patented inventions two (1873 and 1878) related to duplex or quadruplex telegraphy, one (1874) was the method, recently referred to by Mr. Langdon, for enabling intercommunication to be effected in railway trains between passenger and guard, or between guard and driver, whilst one (1886) dealt with the regulation of the E.M.F. of a dynamo for lighting trains, and four (1878, 1880, 1885, and 1895) with electrical railway signalling apparatus.

Mr. Winter was a Fellow of the University of Madras, a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and communicated many scientific and technical papers to the publications of the learned societies. Among those communicated to this Institution may be recorded his paper read on the 12th of March, 1873, and entitled-

'On Earth Currents, and on their Bearing upon the Measurement of the Resistance of Telegraph Wires in which they exist'; and the following, published in the form of original communications, 'On Testing the Metal-Resistance of Telegraph Wires on Cables influenced by Earth-Currents'. 'On the use of Electro-Magnetic Induction in Cable Signalling'; and (in collaboration with Mr. G. B. Winter) 'On a Graphic Method of Studying the Behaviour of the Exposed Ends of Broken Telegraph Cables, and of Means of Eliminating the Effect of Earth-Currents, and of Polarisation at the Fault'.

He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 11th of December, 1872.


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