Over nearly thirty years as its chairman George Nelson built up the number of English Electric"s employees from 4,000 to 80,000. Educated at the City and Guilds Central Technical College in London he obtained a studentship at Brush Electrical Engineering in Loughborough for practical experience on the shop floor and in the drawing office. He died in July 1962 and Lady Nelson died the same year.
Early career and English Electric He joined British Westinghouse in Manchester and rapidly progressed, being appointed chief electrical superintendent in 1914 aged 27.
Westinghouse became Metropolitan Vickers Electrical and in 1920 Nelson was appointed manager of their Sheffield works, which specialised in electric traction. In 1930, he was appointed managing director of English Electric at the invitation of Sir Holberry Mensforth, with whom he worked at Westinghouse and who was now chairman of the financially troubled manufacturing firm, brought in during a period of reconstruction.
Mensforth retired in 1933 and Nelson succeed him as chairman while retaining his position of managing director He remained at the company for the duration of his career and he died at their Stafford premises on 16 July 1962.
During his tenure the number of employees rose from 4,000 to 80,000 with a more than proportionate increase in turnover.
Public activities During World World War II, Nelson held a number of positions: As chairman of the British Tank Mission he hammered out a joint policy for tank development and production with American industry and the United States Army and Canada Served on the Heavy Bomber Group Committee of the Air Ministry, 1939–1945 The Reconstruction Joint Advisory Council, 1943–1944 The Higher Technological Education Committee, 1944–1945 Chairman of the Census of Production Committee, 1945 President of the Federation of British Industries, 1943–1944 He also served as President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (1955), President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (1957), President of the British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers Association (1950–1953), President of the Locomotive and Allied Manufacturers Association (1950–1953), and Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths" Company (1960).
Following the war, Nelson took an interest in the improvement of technical education and became a member of the governing bodies of Imperial College of Science and Technology, Manchester College of Science and Technology and Queen Mary College in the University of London.