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Henry Alexander Mavor

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Henry Alexander Mavor (1858-1915) of Mavor and Coulson

1858 Born son of James and Mary Ann Mavor in Stranraer[1]

Brothers included Sam Mavor and James Mavor, professor of political economy and statistics at St Mungo's College[2]

1883 Started as Muir and Mavor, later becoming Muir, Mavor and Coulson and finally Mavor and Coulson

1897 Henry A. Mavor of 47 King Street, Mile End, Glasgow. Director of Stirling's Motor Carriages.[3]


1916 Obituary [4]

HENRY ALEXANDER MAVOR was born at Stranraer in 1858 and was educated at St. Matthew's School, the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, and Glasgow University.

In the early days of electric lighting he founded the firm of Messrs. Muir and Mavor (now Messrs. Mavor and Coulson, Limited). This firm carried out much of the pioneer electric lighting work in Scotland, and among others an electrical installation for lighting the Glasgow General Post Office. This installation was subsequently extended to various municipal buildings, shops, and offices.

In 1892 the generating stations were taken over by the Glasgow Corporation and formed the nucleus of the Glasgow electricity supply undertaking of to-day. Mr. Mavor then directed his energies and his inventive resources to the design and manufacture of electrical machinery, and took a prominent part in the electrical developments of the last 25 years. The latest important work which engaged his attention was the problem of electric propulsion of ships, and many patents on this subject are evidences of his inventive fertility.

His experimental work on a practical scale included the equipment of a vessel of 2,000 tons with electric propelling machinery. The value of his work in this connection has had wide recognition both from electrical engineers and from naval architects, and his last two visits to America were made in the capacity of consultant to the company which equipped the United States Navy collier Jupiter with electric propelling machinery.

The long series of papers which he contributed to the transactions of several Institutions show the varied and active character of his scientific and technical interests.

As a Governor of the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, Chairman of the Glasgow Branch of the Board of Trade Committee on Juvenile Employment, a member of the Executive Committee of the Engineering Employers' Federation, and in other spheres, Mr. Mavor found scope for his organizing capacity, and for his deep interest in educational and social problems. His relations with his employees were exceptionally cordial, and among those with whom he came into contact his loss will be that of a valued friend. Endowed with a singularly alert and penetrating intellect, and with a gentle, sympathetic, and generous nature, he attracted to himself a very wide circle of friends. To them he was known as a man of versatile talent, broad culture, and refined tastes, with an extensive knowledge and fine appreciation of literature, music, and art. He was a skilful draughtsman, and found recreation in sketching, painting, and modelling.

He died on the 16th July, 1915.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1890, and was Chairman of the Glasgow Local Section in 1902-3.


1915 Obituary [5]



1916 Obituary [6]

HENRY ALEXANDER MAVOR, born at Stranraer in 1858, died at Mauchline, Ayrshire, on the 16th July, 1915.

After leaving Glasgow University and gaining practical experience in electrical engineering, he joined the firm of Muir and Mavor, now Mavor and Coulson, Limited, of Glasgow, and was a pioneer in the development of electricity supply for lighting and power purposes in Scotland, as well as in the design and manufacture of electrical machinery. In recent years he devoted much attention and inventive skill to the application of electricity to ship-propulsion, being associated with its recent introduction into the United States Navy.

He was elected an Associate Member on the 8th January, 1895, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 28th November, 1899.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950
  2. Biography of James Mavor, ODNB
  3. Dundee Courier - Tuesday 14 December 1897
  4. 1916 Institution of Electrical Engineers: Obituaries
  5. The Engineer 1915/07/23
  6. 1916 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries