Taylor, William

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b. 11 June 1865 London, England
d. 28 February 1937 Laughton, Leicestershire, England
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English mechanical engineer and metrologist, originator of standard screw threads for lens mountings and inventor of "Dimple" golf balls.
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William Taylor served an apprenticeship from 1880 to 1885 in London with Paterson and Cooper, electrical engineers and instrument makers. He studied at the Finsbury Technical College under Professors W.E.Ayrton (1847–1908) and John Perry (1850–1920). He remained with Paterson and Cooper until 1887, when he joined his elder brother, who had set up in Leicester as a manufacturer of optical instruments. The firm was then styled T.S. \& W.Taylor and a few months later, when H.W.Hobson joined them as a partner, it became Taylor, Taylor and Hobson, as it was known for many years.
William Taylor was mainly responsible for technical developments in the firm and he designed the special machine tools required for making lenses and their mountings. However, his most notable work was in originating methods of measuring and gauging screw threads. He proposed a standard screw-thread for lens mountings that was adopted by the Royal Photographic Society, and he served on screw thread committees of the British Standards Institution and the British Association. His interest in golf led him to study the flight of the golf ball, and he designed and patented the "Dimple" golf ball and a mechanical driving machine for testing golf balls.
He was an active member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, being elected Associate Member in 1894, Member in 1901 and Honorary Life Member in 1936. He served on the Council from 1918 and was President in 1932. He took a keen interest in engineering education and advocated the scientific study of materials, processes and machine tools, and of management. His death occurred suddenly while he was helping to rescue his son's car from a snowdrift.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
OBE 1918. FRS 1934. President, Institution of Mechanical Engineers 1932.
Further Reading
K.J.Hume, 1980, A History of Engineering Metrology, London, 110–21 (a short account of William Taylor and of Taylor, Taylor and Hobson).
RTS

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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