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William Sellers Pickering

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William Sellers Pickering (1870-1932)


1932 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM SELLERS PICKERING was well known amongst gas engineers for his invention of the "Pickering Patent Valve Gear" for operating gas purifiers. He was an authority on the design and erection of gas plant, and oil and grease blending, and during the War was concerned with the extraction of toluol for munition purposes.

Mr. Pickering was born at Leeds in 1870 and served his apprenticeship with Messrs. John Sykes and Sons of Huddersfield and Messrs. G. Mann and Company of Leeds. At this time he was also receiving technical education at the Huddersfield Technical School and the Yorkshire College.

He was later engaged for a short time as draughtsman by Messrs. Newsum, Wood and Dyson of Leeds. He subsequently returned to Messrs. John Sykes and Sons.

In 1894 he became works manager to Messrs. Blakeley and Pickering, general and gas engineers of Ravensthorpe, and was afterwards engaged as chief draughtsman to Messrs. C. and W. Walker of Donnington, whom he left in 1899 to become engineer and chief draughtsman for Messrs. Willey and Company of Exeter. Whilst with this firm he erected several gas works in the West of England, and installed plant at Dartmoor Prison.

In 1911 Mr. Pickering returned to Leeds and was engaged upon extensions of the City of Leeds gas works. He acted as manager of these works during the gas strike in 1913, and owing to injuries received he entered the service of the Leeds Corporation as consulting engineer.

He retained this appointment until his death on 26th December 1932.

He had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1903.


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