LEA J E


LEA J E
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13.8.1868 Sandbach/UK - 3.4.1955 Southport/UK
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James Edward Lea served an apprenticeship with an engine builder from 1883 to 1889. In 1891 he entered Owen's College in Manchester from where he graduated three years later as an engineer. In 1895 he sailed for South Africa and took charge of a drawing office in Johannesburg. When the Boers War broke out in 1899 he joined the Natal Ambulance Corps but one year later had an enteric fever. In 1902, when again in Johannesburg, Lea took up work with the east Rand Mines and there he began making use of the V-notch for the purpose of measuring water discharge. The method was adopted in mills and used for boiler tests. At this time Lea was perfecting his first automatic Recorder, which had a formula cam in the form of a spiral wire soldered to the outside of a cylindrical drum and on which a saddle was carried to move the pen mechanism. In 1905, Lea took out patents for the Recorder in several countries and returned to England to take up its manufacture.
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For several years Lea had a difficult time because engineers were then not measurement minded and it was not easy to convince them of the need for measuring the water discharge, the condensate from an engine or the volume of sewage treated on a disposal work. The Recorder was shown at several exhibitions and excited considerable interest, but sales only came slowly. In 1913 the Lea Recorder Company was registered and in the same year, Lea went to the United States to arrange for the manufacture of the Recorder there under license. Throughout the development and growth of the company, Lea took the leading part and it was through his initiative that the Coal Meter was introduced in 1918. Then followed the development of the Recorders for sewage treatment stations, waterworks, rivers and streams and for measuring effluent in general. A hydraulics laboratory facilitated the development of the standing wave flume also referred to as a Venturi flume, and broad-crested weirs.
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Anonymous (1955). James Edward Lea. Water and Water Engineering 55(5): 223. P
Anonymous (1955). J.E. Lea. The Engineer 199: 527.
Anonymous (1955). Mr. J.E. Lea, inventor of Water Recorder and Coal Meter. Engineering
179: 489.
Lea, J.E. (1909). The "Lea" water recorder. Engineering 88: 216-218.
Lea, J.E. (1953). A few notes on the measurement of water and sewage by means of "standing wave flumes". Lea Recorder Company: Manchester.
Lea, J.E. (1953). The standing wave flume. Lea Recorder Company: Manchester.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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