Heating & Ventilating
Hall of Fame

 Arthur H Barker,  1870-1954

Barker had a distinguished career in heating and ventilating. He was one of the outstanding figures of his time and contributed greatly to the technology of the industry. He gained a BSc and a BA at London and was the Senior Whitworth Scholar (1895). He began his industrial career as a fitter with Henry Berry of Leeds (hydraulic engineers), moved to Gwynne (pumps) as a draughtsman, to Haden in Trowbridge and then to J F Phillips. He later set up as a consulting engineer.
Barker invented a steam  accelerator, the Cable System, for increasing flow in hot water systems (1903) and patented a method of radiant heating (1908), being regarded as the Father of this concept. He also published his classic textbook Barker on Heating (1912) and was the first lecturer on heating and ventilating at London University. He deduced (with Kinoshita) the 1.3 power law for radiator output (1918) and went on to become President of the IHVE (1922). 

Oscar Faber  1886 - 1956


English civil, electrical and mechanical engineer. Made his reputation designing reinforced concrete structures. Chief Engineer, Trollope & Colls, when he worked on many important buildings. Set up as a consulting engineer (1920). Acted as a consultant to the Bank of England (1925 – 1942) for structure, heating and air conditioning plant with J R Kell, and electrical systems. Responsible for numerous city banks and for the Earls Court Exhibition Building (1938). He advised on the design of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Mersey  tunnel. Wrote (1936, with Kell) the standard textbook Heating and air conditioning of Buildings. President IStructE (1936). President IHVE (1944 – 1945, serving two terms). Awarded OBE for his work during the Second World War. Involved in the air conditioning of the rebuilt House of Commons (1943 – 1950), for which he was made CBE (1951). His biography (by his son John) reveals that in spite of his brilliance he was not always easy to work with.

  George Nelson Haden 
1817 - 1892

Apprenticed  into his fathers and uncles firm of G & J Haden in Trowbridge Wiltshire.  Took over control of the firm following his fathers death in 1856  and expanded the business manufacturing and erecting thousands of warm air ventilating stoves during his lifetime (each one having its own unique number)  in Cathedrals, Churches, Stately Mansions and public buildings . He controlled the firm to operate as designers, manufacturers and installers of heating and ventilating systems, and worked closely with many famous architects of the Victorian period including George Gilbert Scott. Carried out many prestigious contracts including   the Manchester Assize Courts 1863, The Law Courts Strand London, St Pancras Station and Hotel and the Reading Rooms at the British Museum.  Opened branch offices in London, Manchester and Birmingham.     Installed in the Manchester Assize Courts possibly the first spinning disk air washer to clean and cool the ventilation air. Opened a foundry in Trowbridge in 1874 to manufacture all the components necessary for the installation of  heating systems.

 John Robert Kell  1902 - 1983

English engineer. Initially worked as a contractor. Joined (1926) the Office of Oscar Faber. He was deeply involved in all aspects of the building services design for the Bank of England, which involved on site electricity generation with waste heat recovery. Wrote (1936 with Faber) the standard textbook Heating and air conditioning of Buildings. Later his work on the 12 acre Earls court Exhibition building involved conducting full-scale tests on the special ventilating jet nozzles (IHVE Journal, March 1938).  Taken into partnership by Faber (1948). Responsible for the air conditioning of the rebuilt House of Commons (1943 – 1950). President IHVE (1952). Remarked “that of the forty five Presidents to date, only five have been consultants.”  Made CBE (1966). Awarded IHVE Gold Medal (1967). Associated with the Abbey Church at St Albans for many years, Kell has the unusual distinction of having his bust carved in stone, among the roof gargoyles. 

Angier March Perkins 
1799 - 1881

No Photograph
or likeness of 
Angier March Perkins
has yet been found.

Engineer and inventor, second son of Jacob Perkins.  Born in Newbury Port Massachusetts USA he came to England in 1829, and was for some time associated with his father in perfecting his method of engraving bank notes. Perkins was also very interested in using steam at very high pressure, and worked on high-pressure hot water heating systems utilizing small diameter piping in closed sealed systems. He devised the Perkins system British Patent No. 6146 (1831) using 25 mm tube with 6 mm wall thickness with a furnace apparatus designed to maintain water temperatures at about 350oF, though this sometimes reached a dangerous 550oF. He started his  manufacturing business in Harpur Street London which was very successful and then moved into larger premises in Seaford Street. Grays Inn Road. London.
The HPHW system was improved from time to time by additional patents granted in 1839 BP 8311 and 1841 BP 9664.
The system initially proved popular in England being installed in the British Museum, the Royal Society of Arts, and Saye House (for the Duke of Wellington).

 Wilson Weatherley Phipson, 
1838 - 1891

English civil engineer, specialised in heating and ventilating. Worked as a consultant and sometimes in a contracting capacity. Educated in Brussels and Paris. Later a pupil of Dr Van Hecke of Brussels who discovered a new method of heating and ventilating which has already given some very satisfactory results. Assisted Van Hecke to warm and ventilate the hospitals Necker and Beaujon in Holland. Came to London (1859) to introduce the Van Hecke  system. Phipson was both a pioneer and an innovator. His first projects were Baron Rothschild’s residence and bank. Other important installations followed: the Strand Music Hall (1864), Glasgow University (from 1864), and Royal Holloway College, Egham (1882). In London his work included the Natural History Museum, where he beat Haden in competitive tender (1873), the second Alexandra Palace (1874), and the Empire Theatre in Leicester Square (1890). For the early stages of the Prudential Assurance in High Holborn (1866) he  specified steam driven dynamos with the exhaust steam used for space heating – an early example of combined heat and power. He also advocated the adoption of district heating. He killed himself through overworking and excessive travelling (over 3000 miles by train in a fortnight). His practice was taken over by Ashwell & Nesbit.

David Boswell Reid   
1805 - 1863


Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford  
1753 – 1814

Thompson was born in Woburn, Massachusetts. After a short period as a schoolmaster in the nearby town of  Rumford, his Anglophile views took him to London.
His experiments with gunpowder won him election  as a Fellow of the Royal Society. He returned to  America as a British Officer, but the peace brought  him back to England (1783) where he was knighted  for his services. As a friend of the Elector, he went to Bavaria and was appointed Minister of War and
Police and also Grand Chamberlain. He introduced army education, drained marshes, established workshops, and provided relief for the unemployed. 

He is credited with introducing Watt’s steam engine to the Continent, and he was made a Count of the Holy Roman Empire (1791) choosing his title from his former American home. During Bavarian service he grew interested in the problem of heat, which at that time was thought of  as a fluid (caloric) that could be poured from one substance to another.

Rumford, while boring cannon in Munich (1798) noticed that the blocks of metal  grew so hot, as the boring tool gouged them out, they had to be cooled constantly with water. 

Rumford’s conclusion was that the mechanical  motion of the borer was being converted into heat and that heat was therefore a form of motion. Returning to England he helped establish the Royal Institution. 

He refused to patent his many inventions, which  included a double boiler, a drip coffeepot, the pressure cooker, and a kitchen range; he also devised his Rules for fireplace construction.

Thomas Tregold 
1788 - 1829


Tredgold received little education as a boy. He was an apprentice carpenter and later (1813) in the London practice of an architect Wm Atkinson. He studied chemistry, mechanics, geology and mathematics as well as French and German. During the decade from 1815, he published many technical papers, on elasticity and strength of materials, on flow of fluids and on heat. Apart from books on carpentry, cast-iron, railways and the steam engine, he published (1824) Principles of Warming and Ventilating. It transformed an empirical art into a numerate technology and brought together engineering, physiology and comfort.

Neville S Billington
1915 - 2009

The contribution made by Neville Billington to the heating & ventilating industry has been impressive with a continuous list of achievements that commenced straight after he had finished at University.

Always showing a keen interest in the research side of the industry, he still found the time to write and publish numerous Papers, Articles and Books outlining the issues he was researching.

His involvement with the Institution has been an ongoing role, serving on several Committees, chairing Study Groups, attending Government and other committees on all matters relating to Building Services Engineering.

He also liked to be involved with the history of the industry, writing articles on the subject and was an active member of the Institution’s Heritage Group.

His dedication towards improving our technical knowledge of the science of heat transfer by his publications has brought suitable recognition with the rewards of many medals.

For his contribution to the industry he was awarded the OBE Medal of the Order of the British Empire.

To read and discover about his many activities and accomplishments throughout 60 years of service dedicated to Building Engineering Services and the Institution.

AUGUST  2002