Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Paul Werner Seewer

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Dr Paul Werner Seewer (c1885-1969)

Born in Switzerland

1901-19 Piccard, Pictet and Co, Geneva

1920 Joined English Electric Co


1969 Obituary [1]

Dr P. W. Seewer, DE (Fellow), formerly Manager and Chief Engineer of English Electric's Water Turbine Department, died recently at the age of 84.

Born and educated at Switzerland, Dr Seewer joined English Electric in 1919 and was the mainstay of the Water Turbine Department until 1950 when he 'retired' to eight years of full-time consultancy. His gifts as a creative engineer and salesman lifted him into the same class as the great entrepreneurs of the 19th century. He could gauge what the client wanted and present his solutions the following day, no matter what the hour or where the meeting took place. A thriving export business, which placed Britain among the world's leaders, was the result of his brilliant work. To many of us it all felt rather like having a tiger by the tail—if you could hang on, your progress was bound to be rapid.

His individual use of English, like the royal command, "I wish to bespeak you," added colour to an already rich character. I owe him the unshakeable knowledge that the creative engineer is the foundation of industry; I am grateful to have known and worked with him and, with many other friends and colleagues, mourn his death.


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