S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Laschinger, Mr Edgar Jacob (engineering)

Born: November 1871, Mitchell, Ontario, Canada.
Died: 20 March 1937, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mr Edgar Jacob Laschinger

Edgar J. Laschinger, Canadian born mechanical and civil engineer, was the son of Solomon Laschinger and his wife Mary, born Krause. He was educated in London and at the Universities of Ontario and Toronto, qualifying as Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) and Master of Engineering (ME, Toronto). He came to the Witwatersrand in June 1895. By 1908 he worked for Consolidated Gold Fields of South Africa, Johannesburg. In 1899 he married Katherine E. Thomas, with whom he had five children. He was a Freemason and a life member of the Wilson Masonic Lodge in Toronto.

Laschinger became a member of the Mechanical Engineers Association of the Witwatersrand (founded in May 1898) during its first year and read an early paper before its members on "The strength of wooden beams". He remained an active member when it was renamed the Transvaal Institute of Mechanical Engineers in 1905, serving as a member of council for 1907/8 and contributing a paper on "The flow of compressed air in pipes" (Journal of the Transvaal Institute of Mechanical Engineers, 1907/8, Vol. 6). He was similarly an active member of the South African Association of Engineers, serving as its president in 1908/9. One of the papers he read before the association, in October 1903, dealt with the amount of evaporation from the surface of fairly large bodies of water on the Witwatersrand, with a table of monthly averages. In March 1906 he, with A.M. Robeson* and H.C. Behr*, contributed a comprehensive paper to the association's Proceedings on "Steam consumption tests on a twin tandem compound condensing winder at no. 1 shaft, Village Deep, Ltd". This paper was published also in the form of a pamphlet (Johannesburg, 1906, 27p).

In 1904 Lashinger became an associate, and later that same year a member, of the Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa. In April 1904 his paper on "The decanting process of slimes treatment" was published in the society's Journal (Vol. 4(10), pp. 348-364), providing a detailed account of the process, the efficiency of gold recovery using various procedures, and the costs involved. He served as joint vice-president of the society for 1911/12 and as a member of council the next year. Around this time he contributed a paper on "New apparatus for sampling air for dust" (Journal, 1911/12, Vol. 12, pp. 443-447). In 1903 he was a member of the Technical Education Commission, appointed to make recommendations with regard to advanced technical education in the Transvaal Colony. That same year he joined the South African Association for the Advancement of science, serving on its publication committee in 1904, and as a member of council for 1904/5. By 1918 he was a life member of the association, living in Johannesburg. He was also a member of the (British) Institution of Mining and Metallurgy.

Laschinger applied for 50 prospecting claims on the farm Vlakfontein No. 168 in 1906. He was still active in 1933, for in February that year he read a paper on "The Witwatersrand mines water supply and consumption" before the South African Institution of Engineers. Around this time he should not be confused with J.E. Laschinger* - perhaps his son - who was on the staff of the Minerals Research Laboratory of the University of the Witwatersrand during the nineteen-thirties. E.J. Laschinger definitely had a son named Edgar Frederick, who qualified as an engineer and became managing director of the firm Dowson & Dobson Ltd. (South African who's who, 1961).

List of sources:
Draper, J.R. The engineer's contribution: A history of the South African Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1892-1967 (Appendix 1). Johannesburg: South African Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1967.

Hall, A.L. A bibliography of South African geology for the years 1931 to 1935. Pretoria: Geological Survey, Memoir No. 30, 1937.

Journal of the Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa, 1903/4, Vol. 4; 1904/5, Vol. 5; 1911/12, Vol. 12; and 1912/13, Vol. 13: Papers by Laschinger, Members, and Council; 1937, Vol. 37, p. 437, Obituary.

Journal of the Transvaal Institute of Mechanical Engineers, 1905-1910, Vol. 4-8.

National Archives Repository (TAB), Source MHG, Vol. 0, Ref. 96607: death notice, Edgar Jacob Laschinger.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Laschinger, Edgar Jacob / Laschinger, E.J.

Orr, J. Presidential address. Associated Scientific and Technical Societies of South Africa, Annual Proceedings, 1938, pp. 15-86.

South African Association for the Advancement of Science. Report, 1903, 1904, 1905/6, 1910, 1918: Lists of members and office bearers.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.

South African who's who, 1908, 1909.

Transvaal Colony, Meteorological Department. Annual Report for the year ending 30 June 1905.

Compiled by: C. Plug