Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Arnaldo Paolo Zani

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Arnaldo Paolo Zani (1871-1918)


1919 Obituary [1]

ARNALDO PAOLO ZANI was born in December 1871, at Salo (Italy), and died at Vado Ligure (Italy), on the 23rd July, 1918.

He received his scientific and mathematical training at the Pavia University, leaving with degrees in both these subjects; then entering the Milan Politecnico he specialized in electrical engineering, and graduated with honours from there in 1893.

His engineering career started in the General Electric Company's designing office at Schenectady, U.S.A., where he remained for four years, the Company then sending him to Berlin as Chief Engineer to the Union E.G., and afterwards to the Thomson-Houston de la Mediteranee (Milan), who proposed to erect large electrical works in Italy. This scheme, however, did not mature, owing to the already powerful influence of the competing German interests.

He then joined Messrs. Dick, Kerr & Company, who had recently started their new Preston works, remaining with them until 1913.

He was one of the pioneers of the manufacture of large alternators in England. The Engineer of the 30th October, 1903, contains a description of what was at that time the largest alternator built in the works of Messrs. Dick, Kerr & Company; this machine was designed by him.

In 1913, being anxious to get nearer to his native country, he joined the French Thomson-Houston Company of Paris as Chief Engineer of all their works.

When Italy joined in the War in August, 1915, he decided to return to that country, taking up the position of General Manager of the Italian Westinghouse Company, at Vado Ligure, for the purpose of reorganizing these works which had been, until then, under the management of aliens. He devoted all his energies to this new task, fighting against difficulties of every kind, until his health was gradually affected by excessive overwork and worry, and he died after a few days' illness at Vado Ligure, at the moment when his life's dream of making a great purely Italian electrical factory, free from German influences, was practically realized. He was a clever mathematician, besides being a practical designer, and the electrical industry has prematurely lost one of its best men.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1907.


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