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Archives biographies: J.S. Raworth

A career in electric lighting

Mr J.S. Raworth was a well known and popular member of the electrical fraternity and had been associated with the electric lighting and traction industries from their inception. He began his career working in the shops and drawing offices of Messrs R & W Hawthorn of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Messrs. Wren & Hopkinson of Manchester.

In the late 1870s and early 1880s, he represented Messrs. Siemens Bros. in Lancashire, devoting his attention largely to ship lighting. While in Manchester, for a time he ran a small central station distributing current in the immediate neighbourhood and most of the important Manchester installations erected in those days were done under his superintendency.

He came to London in 1886, (the year he joined the IEE as a Member), taking a leading position with the Brush Electrical Engineering Co. (then operating under another title) at a time when the world was beginning to awaken to the potential uses of electricity. So when the Electric Lighting Act of 1888 was passed, he was entrusted with a number of enterprises including the supply stations of the City of London Electric Lighting Co., the Leicester Corporation plus others at Huddersfield, Hanley and Bournemouth. Many were wholly or in greater part, designed by him.

John Raworth was a prolific inventor, although his name was seldom associated with any particular machine. He was renowned for his oratorical powers and could always be counted upon to add life and interest to Institution discussions.

Science Abstracts

In December 1897, he was appointed to the Joint Committee of Management of Abstracts of Physical Papers a joint publication of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and The Physical Society. In 1898, he was a member of the Committee for the first issue of Science Abstracts.

He died on March 24th 1917 aged 71 years.