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William Edward Louis Gaine

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William Edward Louis Gaine (1851-1907), General Manager of the National Telephone Co


1907 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM EDWARD LOUIS GAINE, General Manager of the National Telephone Company, died after a brief illness on June 18, 1907, at his residence in London.

Mr. Gaine was born in London in 1851.

After leaving school he was articled to Mr. Compton-Smith, of Lincoln's Inn Fields, and was in due course admitted as Solicitor of the High Court.

In 1875, at the age of 23, he was appointed Town Clerk of the County Borough of Blackburn, Lancashire, and subsequently Clerk of the Peace. This appointment he held for seventeen years, during which time he achieved a high reputation among municipal officers for his ability and energy.

In 1892 he accepted the position of General Manager of the National Telephone Company. At that time the company did not include the whole of the United Kingdom in the scope of its operations, as the West of England and South Wales Telephone Company, the South of England Telephone Company, and the Telephone Company of Ireland were still in existence. These three companies were, however, amalgamated with the National Company shortly after Mr. Gaine's appointment as General Manager, and under his administration the company grew and prospered steadily.

At the time he took the control the National Company's system served about 46,000 subscribers' lines and the staff numbered about 4,000 employees of all ranks. It now serves 377,883 subscribers and the staff numbers nearly 16,000. The company derived great advantage from Mr. Gaine's experience as a solicitor, when engaged in difficult and intricate negotiations of a legal character, and it is largely due to his skill and management that, in the face of many difficulties, the company has attained its present position.

Mr. Gaine was a Member of the Incorporated Law Society, and was elected a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1893.


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