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British Industrial History

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Horace Boot

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Sir Horace Boot (c1873-1943)

1943 Obituary [1]

1944 Obituary [2]

Sir HORACE BOOT, who was well known as a prominent industrial engineer, was the founder of Horace Boot and Partners, consulting engineers, of Westminster, and was chairman of the Eastwood group of brick and cement companies. He was educated at the City of London School and the City and Guilds Technical College, Finsbury. After serving his apprenticeship with Messrs. Johnson and Phillips at Charlton from 1890 to 1892, he was employed for a brief period with Messrs. Laurence Scott and Company, of Norwich.

He was then made assistant engineer at the Battersea Foundry and acted as senior demonstrator at the Battersea Polytechnic. In 1895, at the early age of 22, he was appointed borough electrical engineer at Tunbridge Wells and was responsible for the design and construction of the generating station. This position, which he combined with that of general manager, he held for thirteen years, and during this period he was consulted by several other provincial municipalities in connection with the installation of generating plant.

In 1908 he began to practice as a consulting engineer and in the course of thirty-five years the advice of his firm was extensively sought with regard to numerous important industrial schemes. In addition his services were retained by various mining companies in Central and South America, which, with other interests abroad, entailed extensive travel on his part. Sir Horace, who was knighted after serving as sheriff of the City of London in 1940-1, was also Master of the Cutlers' Company in 1936-7.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1906 and was transferred to Membership in 1910. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. The many positions he held included those of a Governor of Sheffield University, past-president of the Institute of Arbitrators, of the National Federation of Clay Industries, and of the Incorporated Municipal Electrical Association. His death occurred at Maidenhead on 31st March 1943 in his seventy-first year.

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