Morrison, William Murray

Morrison, William Murray
b. 7 October 1873 Birchwood, Inverness-shire, Scotland
d. 21 May 1948 London, England
Scottish pioneer in the development of the British aluminium industry and Highlands hydroelectric energy.
After studying at the West of Scotland Technical College in Glasgow, in January 1895 Morrison was appointed Engineer to the newly formed British Aluminium Company Limited (BAC); it was with this organization that he spent his entire career. The company secured the patent rights to the Héroult and Bayer processes. It constructed a 200 tonne per year electrolytic plant at Foyers on the shore of Loch Ness, together with an adjacent 5000 kW hydroelectric scheme, and it built an alumina factory at Larne Harbour in north-eastern Ireland. Morrison was soon Manager at Foyers, and he became the company's Joint Technical Adviser. In 1910 he was made General Manager, and later he was appointed Managing Director. Morrison successfully brought about improvements in all parts of the production process; between 1915 and 1930 he increased the size of individual electrolytic cells by a factor of five, from 8,000 to 40,000 amperes. Soon after 1901, BAC built a second works for electrolytic reduction, at Kinlochleven in Argyllshire, where the primary design originated from Morrison. In the 1920s a third plant was erected at Fort William, in the lee of Ben Nevis, with hydroelectric generators providing some 75 MW. Alumina factories were constructed at Burntisland on the Firth of Forth and, in the 1930s, at Newport in Monmouthshire. Rolling mills were developed at Milton in Staffordshire, Warrington, and Falkirk in Stirlingshire, this last coming into use in the 1940s, by which time the company had a primary-metal output of more than 30,000 tonnes a year. Morrison was closely involved in all of these developments. He retired in 1946 as Deputy Chairman of BAC.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
Commander of the Order of St Olav of Norway 1933 (BAC had manufacturing interests in Norway). Knighted 1943. Vice-Chairman, British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association, Faraday Society, Institute of Metals. Institute of Metals Platinum Medal 1942.
1939, "Aluminium and highland water power", Journal of the Institute of Metals 65:17– 36 (seventeenth autumn lecture),

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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