Lucas, Francis Robert 1849 - 1931

English; British

(1849-1931), telegraph engineer

Francis Robert Lucas, born in in 1849, was a telegraph engineer, working from 1856 at the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Co. (Telcon) at Enderby’s Wharf in Greenwich. He was involved in laying submarine cable, succeeding Henry Clifford as Chief Engineer in 1893, and becoming Managing Director in 1906 until his retirement in 1925. He participated in the cable laying voyages of SS 'Great Eastern' in 1878; invented a wire-sounding machine which was first used on the cable laying ship the 'Alert' in 1887; invented a type of oceanographic sounding machine in 1891; patented a scoop sounder, an instrument also known as the 'snapper' which was used when cable laying.

He was married to Katherine and they were the parents of Ralph Lucas (1876-1955), designer and builder of motor cars. Francis died in 1931.