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British Industrial History

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Oliver Bryden Bell

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Oliver Bryden Bell (1891-1944)


1945 Obituary [1]

OLIVER BRYDEN BELL was born in 1891 and began a seven years' apprenticeship in 1906 with the Broxburn Oil Company, Ltd., West Lothian, during which period he took an engineering course at the Heriot Watt College, Edinburgh.

After a short appointment as designing draughtsman to Messrs. Simon Carves, Ltd., of Manchester, he joined H.M. Forces and served in the Royal Engineers, but a year later was transferred to the York and Lancaster Regiment and rose to the rank of captain. He was awarded the Military Cross in April 1917 and was mentioned in dispatches in May 1917. In 1919 he went to Brazil, where for the next four years he held the position of designing draughtsman to the St. John del Rey Mining Company.

He was then made chief mechanical draughtsman and placed in charge of the drawing office with responsibility for the design of all mining and reduction plant. After a brief period as assistant in the engineering department of the Demerara Bauxite Company, British Guiana, he was appointed chief mechanical engineer, in 1927, with the charge of all mechanical operations, including the maintenance of plant and the loading and dispatching of vessels. He relinquished this position in 1931 and, returning to England, entered some two years later the service of the London County Council as a coal inspector, the duties of which position included smoke abatement from industrial premises. Mr. Bell held this appointment up to the time of his death, which occurred on 19th May 1944.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1932.


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