Industry honour for top inventor

Dr. John C Taylor (centre) receives his Fellowship from HRH Prince Philip and Sir John Parker, President of the Royal Engineering Academy. Photo: Tom Howard.

Dr. John C Taylor (centre) receives his Fellowship from HRH Prince Philip and Sir John Parker, President of the Royal Engineering Academy. Photo: Tom Howard.

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A BUXTON-BORN inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist and horologist has been honoured for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of British engineering, innovation and commerce.

Dr John Crawshaw Taylor OBE secured his place among the most esteemed figures in modern British engineering history with the award of a Fellowship by the Royal Engineering Academy.

The Fellowship was presented by His Royal Highness Prince Philip at Draper’s Hall in London recently.

It represents the zenith of an illustrious career for the ‘retired’ inventor, who holds hundreds of patents, many connected with domestic appliances, thermostats and electrical equipment. His single most famous invention is credited as being the cordless kettle.

Dr Taylor said: “I feel honoured to have been recognised in this way by such a venerable institution and proud to be numbered among such highly regarded peers.”

Educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences, Dr Taylor began his career as a graduate trainee at his father’s company, Otter Controls Ltd in Buxton, where he focused his talents on the development of thermostat technologies and furthered the invention of bi-metallic controls.

Dr Taylor moved to the Isle of Man in 1977 to join Castletown Thermostats Ltd, leading them to independence as a Manx company and changing their name to Strix Ltd. The company quickly became the world-leading manufacturer of kettle controls.

His other interests include the study and collecting of early clocks, mountaineering, sailing and flying.

However, it is his work in the field of horology which has seen him design and build a new form of clock, the Chronophage, as a homage to the eminent 18th Century English clockmaker John Harrison. The first Chronophage clock was unveiled by Professor Steven Hawking in 2008 on the exterior of the Taylor Library of Corpus Christi College.