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British Industrial History

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Henry John Gibbons

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Henry John Gibbons (1876-1950)


1950 Obituary [1]


1952 Obituary [2]

"HENRY JOHN GIBBONS was one of the pioneers of the gas and oil engine industry, to the progress of which he made important and outstanding contributions. He was for sixteen years managing director of the Crossley—Premier Engines Company, Ltd., Sandiacre, near Nottingham, and his association with that firm and its predecessor, the Premier Gas Engine Company, Ltd., lasted for nearly half a century.

He was born in Burma in 1876 and coming to England at an early age received his education at a private school in Maidstone and at City Commercial School, London. Later he studied foreign languages at Nottingham University. After three years' experience in commercial positions in London, Mr. Gibbons began his long connection with the company in 1898 and held in succession the appointments of cost accountant, accountant, assistant secretary, secretary and sales representative, director and commercial manager, and finally managing director. He introduced a new costing system with satisfactory economic results and co-operated closely with the chief engineer and designer in planning and carrying out new extensions to the works. Furthermore, Mr. Gibbons played an important part in the development of the firm's products, being entirely responsible for all the engineering contracts. His principal engineering achievements were the construction and erection of two 2,000-kW. Diesel sets for the Jerusalem Electric Light and Power Co; a 1,200-kW. gas engine and alternator for Trinidad Leaseholds, Ltd.; and a large number of sets for various gold mines. Mr. Gibbons was elected a Companion of the Institution in 1938 and was also a past-president of the Nottingham Section of the Institution of Production Engineers, to which Institution he presented in 1947 a paper entitled "My History and Personal Experience of the Large Internal Combustion Engine". He took a keen interest in the training of the young engineer, being a member of the Engineering Advisory Committee of the University of Nottingham, and of the Nottingham and District Technical College. In 1948 he was chosen to deliver at Nottingham University the Herbert Akroyd Stuart Lecture, taking for his subject the work of Mr. John Henry Hamilton, his colleague for so many years. In addition he was a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and a past-president of the Institute's North-East Midland Branch. He retired in 1946 and his death occurred four years later at Nottingham, on 17th November 1950."


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