Hammond, Robert

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b. 19 January 1850 Waltham Cross, England
d. 5 August 1915 London, England
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English engineer who established many of the earliest public electricity-supply systems in Britain.
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After an education at Nunhead Grammar School, Hammond founded engineering businesses in Middlesbrough and London. Obtaining the first concession from the Anglo- American Brush Company for the exploitation of their system in Britain, he was instrumental in popularizing the Brush arc-lighting generator. Schemes using this system, which he established at Chesterfield, Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings in 1881–2, were the earliest public electricity-supply ventures in Britain. On the invention of the incandescent lamp, high-voltage Brush dynamos were employed to operate both arc and incandescent lamps. The limitations of this arrangement led Hammond to become the sole agent for the Ferranti alternator, introduced in 1882. Commencing practice as a consulting engineer, Hammond was responsible for the construction of many electricity works in the United Kingdom, of which the most notable were those at Leeds, Hackney (London) and Dublin, in addition to many abroad. Appreciating the need for trained engineers for the new electrical industry and profession then being created, in 1882 he established the Hammond Electrical Engineering College. Later, in association with Francis Ince, he founded Faraday House, a training school that pioneered the concept of "sandwich courses" for engineers. Between 1883 and 1903 he paid several visits to the United States to study developments in electric traction and was one of the advisers to the Postmaster General on the acquisition of the telephone companies.
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Bibliography
1884, Electric Light in Our Homes, London (one of the first detailed accounts of electric lighting).
1897, "Twenty five years" developments in central stations', Electrical Review 41:683–7 (surveys nineteenth-century public electricity supply).
Further Reading
F.W.Lipscomb, 1973, The Wise Men of the Wires, London (the story of Faraday House). B.Bowers, 1985, biography, in Dictionary of Business Biography, Vol. III, ed. J.Jeremy, London, pp. 21–2 (provides an account of Hammond's business ventures). J.D.Poulter, 1986, An Early History of 'Electricity Supply, London.
GW

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

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