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British Industrial History

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Henry Claude Walker

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Henry Claude Walker (1851-1939) of R. Waygood and Co

1851 Born in Lambeth the son of George Walker, a Tea Broker, and his wife Sarah Morris

c1876 Birth of son Henry Cecil Walker

1901 Living at 33 Wickham Road, Deptford: Henry C. Walker (age 50 born Kennington), Mechanical Engineer (Hydraulic, Electric and Hand Lifts) - Employer. With his wife Sarah E. Walker (age 50 born West Norwood) and their six children; Henry C. Walker (age 24 born Brockley), Electrical Engineer; Lizzie C. Walker (age 24 born Brockley); Dora Walker (age 21 born Brockley); Annie M. Walker (age 20 born Brockley); Norman M. Walker (age 18 born Brockley); and Bernard G. Walker (age 19 born Brockley). Two servants.[1]

1939 Obituary [2]

HENRY CLAUDE WALKER, whose death occurred on 25th March 1939, was associated with the lift industry for nearly seventy years.

He was born in 1851 and educated at Dr. Pinches's College, Kennington Road, Lambeth.

It was in 1865 that he joined Mr. R. Waygood, who owned what was then a small engineering firm, with which he was associated until his retirement in 1934. He served his apprenticeship here until 1870, and for the next two years he was engaged as a draughtsman and also as a foreman over works, both in the shops and outside.

In 1872 he was taken into partnership as junior partner, and the firm became Messrs. R. Waygood and Company. On the retirement of other partners he later became senior partner. This company had first turned their attention to the installation of lifts when he took a successful order for a hydraulic lift in 1869, and subsequently he took an active part in the development of the industry.

In 1879 he visited the U.S.A. in order to study the development in lifting apparatus made by the Otis Elevator Co of America. This visit led ultimately to the amalgamation of his firm with the Otis Elevator Company, Ltd., into Messrs. Waygood and Otis, Ltd. One of the most important installations with which he was connected was that of the lifts in the "Twopenny Tube", the underground railway between the Bank and Shepherd's Bush. In 1893 his firm fitted a lift at Balmoral for Queen Victoria, as a result of which orders were given for similar lifts at other royal palaces, and the company was appointed "Lift Makers to the Queen".

In more recent years his firm has played a large part in the development of escalators for the replacing of lifts. He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1894, and in 1902 he wrote a paper for the Institution entitled "Protection of Lift-Shafts, and Safety Devices in Connection with Lift-Doors and Controlling Gear".

He was also a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

1939 Obituary [3]

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