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John Alfred Vaughan

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John Alfred Vaughan (1865-1938)

1938 Obituary [1]

JOHN ALFRED VAUGHAN was a very well known engineer in the Union of South Africa, where he had lived for thirty-seven years. He was an authority on wire ropes, especially in their application to winding in deep mines, and was the author of several papers on the subject, which he contributed to the South African Institution of Engineers, of which he was president during 1910-11.

Mr. Vaughan was born in 1865 and received his education at the City of London School and the Royal Naval Engineering College, Devonport, and at Greenwich College. From 1881 to 1887 he served his apprenticeship under the chief engineer of H.M. Dockyard, Devonport, and in the latter year received his commission as assistant engineer. In 1892 he was promoted to be senior engineer on HMS Rainbow. He was present at the bombardment of Valparaiso and at the bombardment of Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese war of 1894. After two years' further service, as senior engineer on HMS Undaunted, he was transferred in a similar capacity to HMS Monarch, at Simon's Bay, South Africa.

He retired from the Navy in 1901, on being appointed by Lord Milner as chief inspector of machinery in the Department of Mines, Transvaal. On the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 the inspectorship of the other three provinces, Cape, Natal, and Orange Free State, came under his control. In 1928 he retired, but a year later he was sent to England and Germany by the Government of the Union, to investigate the prospects of establishing a steel industry in South Africa.

He was largely concerned in framing the regulations of the Mines and Machinery Act and Regulations, and the present Electricity Act. His most notable work, however, was the research which he carried out into the stresses in wire ropes, which was of great value in helping to solve the problems of winding from deep levels.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1901 and rendered valuable services as a member of the South Africa Advisory Committee. In addition he took a keen interest in several South African technical societies. His death occurred at Simonstown on 14th October 1938.

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