William Garrett Knibbs, 1887-1937 - F.I.Mech E. & Inventor

Last updated 4 November, 2011

William Garrett Knibbs was born in the 3rd quarter of 1887 in the town of Banstead, Surrey. He was the youngest of six children born to Henry Knibbs, who was the then, headmaster of the Banstead Village School, and his wife, Annie Elizabeth. 
We know that for some of his working life, William was the chief engineer in charge of the erection of the new tank farm and oil refinery on Canvey Island for London and Coastal Wharves Ltd.
We know he also worked for J Lyons & Co. Ltd., and in 1927, he set sail for Bombay, India with his wife Elsie Isabel. It's believed that he was probably given a positon at  J Lyons & Co.'s subsidiary, Lyons (india) Ltd., working within their tea buying business.

William was a qualified Mechanical Engineer, registered with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (Great Britain). He received his education at Birmingham Municipal Technical College. At one time, he was the chief engineer in charge of the erection of the new tank farm and oil refinery on Canvey Island for London and Coastal Wharves Ltd.
In addition to this, we know that in the 1920's he invented at least three different devices for use within the confectionary market:
 

Testing Sealed Containers.
We know that in 1925, in partnership with J Lyons & Co. Ltd, he invented a new  testing device for hermetically sealed containers such as commonly employed for preserving foodstuffs and the like. It's main objective was to provide a simple and efficient means for indicating the presence of leakage in said containers.

Click image for diagram, or download PDF of patent.

 

Bottle Closures.
Later in 1925, William patented an improvement in, and relating to, bottle closures. It appears to have been a variation to the standard "crown" bottle tops still used today. It's main difference was the provision of cuts in the edge of the top so that when the centre of the top was pressed, the top could be readily removed. I assume to eliminate the need for bottle openers.

Click image for diagram, or download PDF of patent.

 

Formation of Pats.
In November 1926, he patented yet another device in Canada which was designed to mould butter or cake mixtures, with greater precision and rapidity than had theretofore been possible. The mixture was forced into a mould, flattened and stamped, and pushed onto a conveyor for it to undergo the next part of the process. I imagine such a process would have been critical for the mass production of cakes and biscuits.

Click image for diagram, or download PDF of patent.

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