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British Industrial History

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Robert Birkett

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Robert Birkett (1866-1934).


1934 Obituary.[1]

ROBERT BIRKETT was born on the 18th October, 1866, and was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Faraday House. On leaving the latter, he was for a short time with Messrs. Kay Brothers of Stockport, and was engaged in installing small private plants. He left Messrs. Kay Brothers in August, 1896, on being appointed an assistant engineer in the Chelsea Electric Light Co.'s undertaking.

In November, 1897, he was appointed chief assistant engineer in the Burnley Corporation Electricity Department, being promoted two years later to the position of chief electrical and tramways engineer to the Corporation. During his tenure of office he converted the steam tramways to electric working.

In June, 1905, he was appointed borough electrical engineer and tramways manager to the Southend-on-Sea Corporation, a position which he held until his retirement in 1929 on account of ill-health. He then went to live at Slough, where he died in September, 1934. He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1920.


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