ALLEN W H


ALLEN W H
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6.8.1844 Llandaff/UK - 3.9.1926 Bedford/UK
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William Henry Allen served his apprenticeship with a leading maker of colliery steam engines. In 1869 he went to London and there joined a firm as the general manager. From 1890 he had his own firm in Bedford and there developed the Allen high-speed steam engine and the Conqueror pump. During this time he established friendships in naval and shipbuilding circles which eventually led to that connection with marine auxiliaries that determined his later career. Allen was active in the profession until 1920 when his son Richard William (1867-1955) took over for the following three decades. In parallel, Allen was also involved in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and there served for years as a vice-president. Allen was an ardent believer in technical and scientific education. He was also amongst the first to systematize the training of apprentices and pupils and to set up a class room in his firm. The welfare of his employees had always been near to his heart and he presented to his company the Allen Institute to celebrate its twenty-fifth birthday.
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The Allen engine became popular afloat because it was used for driving centrifugal service and salvage pumps direct and later it was adopted for circulating pumps and for driving fans. Allen also developed steam turbines and oil engines to perform the same services which the original Allen engine performed in the 1880s. An illustrated history of the firm is given in the 1913 paper, on the occasion of the visit paid to it by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1913. In 1918 Messrs. W.H. Allen were honored by a visit of His Majesty King George V and Queen Mary. In 1889 Allen took his son Richard into partnership and the title of his firm was changed into Messrs. W.H. Allen, Son and Co, with William Allen as the chairman until 1920.
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Allen, H.N.G. (1965). Ex opera et industria. Chartered Mechanical Engineer 12(11): 571-581. P
Allen, W.H. (1871). Discussion on Pumps for low lifts: Archimedean screw for lifting water, centrifugal pumps. Minutes Proc. Institution of Civil Engineers 32(2): 41-64.
Allen, W.H. (1891). Auxiliary engines in connection with the modern marine engine. Minutes
Proc. Institution of Civil Engineers 104(2): 2-23.
Allen, W.H. (1913). The works of W.H. Allen, Son & Co., Ltd. Engineering 96: 107-109. Anonymous (1926). The late Mr. W.H. Allen. Engineering 122: 332-333. P
Anonymous (1947). Allen, William Henry. Who was who 1916-1928: 17. Black: London. Pike, W.T., ed. (1908). William Henry Allen. British engineers and allied professions in the 20th century: 136. Pike: Brighton. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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