Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Peter De Haan

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Peter De Haan (1886-1947)

1948 Obituary [1]

"PETER DE HAAN was born in 1886 and educated in Switzerland, receiving his technical instruction at the Lincoln Municipal Technical School while serving his apprenticeship with Messrs. Ruston Proctor and Company, Ltd., engineers, of that city, from 1903 to 1909. For a brief period he was employed as head engineer in the office of his father, at that time agent for Messrs. Ruston Proctor. In the same year he re-entered the latter's works, and was closely concerned as an expert in the production of gas, oil, and steam engines for the next eight years. During this period he invented an improved and simplified straw-baling press, for which he took out a joint patent with the firm.

From 1917 to 1919 he served in Italy as a technical officer with the rank of lieutenant. After an interval of five years, he returned to that country where he was engaged for Messrs. Meadows and Company, agents for Messrs. Vickers, Ltd. In 1927 he joined the staff of the Vickers Group as general agent in Italy for armament and aircraft accessories, in addition to other steel products of the combine. He relinquished this position in 1935 on his taking up the appointment of assistant to the superintending general agent for Italy of the English Steel Corporation.

In 1940, although fifty-four years of age, Mr. de Haan was accepted as a pilot-officer in the R.A.F.V.R. for duty overseas. Two years later he was promoted to the rank of flight-lieutenant, and in 1944 to that of squadron-leader. He left the Service in June 1945, after attaining the rank of wing commander, and resumed his former association with the English Steel Corporation. Mr. de Haan, whose death occurred early in 1947, was elected a Graduate of the Institution in 1906 and was transferred to Associate Membership in 1912."

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