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British Industrial History

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Harry Woollen

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Harry Woollen (1887-1930)


1930/31 Obituary [1]

Harry Woollen was born in 1887 and was the son of Mr. T. H. Woollen Member of Council of the Institution. He received his education at the Birmingham Technical School and was subsequently apprenticed with H. W. Ward and Co and with Clement Talbot.

After completion of his apprenticeship he became designer to M. Clement-Bayard, of Paris, and on his return to this country was appointed senior draughtsman with Daimler. He then returned, to H. W. Ward and Co., where he was responsible for many improvements in automatic machines. Whilst with this firm he was also responsible for valuable work in connexion with armament production, being prevented from serving in the Forces owing to the results of an accident at football.

After the war he held positions with Martinsyde and Armstrong Siddeley Motors and during this period he was largely responsible for the design of a successful motor cycle. He also scored successes in driving in open competitions for both cars and motor cycles.

For several years prior to his death he held the position of Technical Representative in the South of England for Hardy Spicer and Co.

He died on 21st April, 1930, at the age of 43.

He was elected a Graduate of the Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1907, was transferred to Associate Member in 1910 and to Member in 1928.


1930 Obituary [2]

HARRY WOOLLEN was associated with machine-tool design and made several notable contributions to its development.

He was born in Sheffield in 1887, and upon leaving the Birmingham Technical School in 1904, after five years' training, entered the shops of Messrs. H. W. Ward and Company of Birmingham for one year and those of Messrs. Clement Talbot for a further four-and-a-half years.

He was then for two years designer to M. A. Clement-Bayard, automobile constructor of Paris, and during this time took an important part in designing the airship which was presented to the British Government by the Daily Mail.

He returned to England in 1912 to become senior draughtsman for the Daimler Motor Company.

In the following year, however, he resumed machine-tool work and was appointed chief estimating engineer to Messrs. H. W. Ward and Company, for whom he designed their "all-geared" headstock. Later he patented certain improvements in the Potter and Johnson automatic machines.

Unable to go on active service owing to a football accident, Mr. Woollen set up some 36,000 prices for piece-work on war productions.

In 1921 he took an appointment with Messrs. A. D. C. Aircraft and designed a very successful motor-cycle.

After a further year with Messrs. Armstrong Siddeley he joined, in 1923, Messrs Hardy, Spicer and Company, manufacturers of universal joints for automobiles and other products, and was their sole technical representative in the South of England at the time of his death, which occurred on 21st April 1930.

He became a Graduate of the Institution in 1910 and an Associate Member in 1915.


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