Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Electrical engineer. George Marshall Harriss, son of George Harriss and his wife Margaret (née Ward) was born in Dublin on 19 September 1865.(1) The Harrisses were an old-established Dublin family with a gunsmith's business in Dawson Street. George Harriss was educated at Power's School, Dublin, and Conway College, North Wales, before being apprenticed to Thomas Tomlinson, first in London and then in Queensland.. After working in Queensland for six years, he returned to England, where he was employed in the firm of J.E.H. Gordon & Co. on the Sydnham electricity works. He was then sent to Bray, where was responsible for installing the electric generating machinery in the Bray works, one of the first generating stations in Ireland. He was township electrical engineer in Bray from 1892 until 1900, when he was appointed assistant to Professor George Forbes.(2) By 1902 he had moved to Carlow as designer and manager of the Carlow Electricity works at Milford, the first hydro-electric public service station in Ireland. In 1907 Harriss was appointed engineer to the Irish International Exhibition in Herbert Park. Here he established a connection with William Martin Murphy, who in 1909 engaged him as resident engineer on the construction of the Accra railway on the Gold Coast for which Murphy was contractor.(3) On his return to Dublin in 1911, Murphy appointed Harriss electrical engineer to the Dublin Tramways Company,(4) of which Murphy was chairman. Following the death of Cosmo William Gordon in 1915, Harriss was promoted to General Manager, a position which he held until his retirement in 1935.(5) In 1923 he also became a director of the Anna Liffey Power Development Co. which was formed by Sir JOHN GRIFFITH JOHN GRIFFITH . In the same year He was awarded an honorary MA by Trinity College, Dublin.(6)

Harriss is described as shrewd, persistent and kindly. He was married and had two sons, who were both engineers, and a daughter.

ICEI: elected associate, 5 Jan 1898;(7) transferred to member, 3 Dec 1902 (8); council member, 1914-1927.(9)
Engineering and Scientific Association of Ireland: president, 1920.(10)

Addresses:(11) Work: Electric Light and Power Station, Bray, Co. Wicklow, 1898; Electricity Works, Carlow, 1902; West African Government Railway, Accra, 1911; 8 Upper Sackville Street, Dublin, 1917-18; 9 Upper Sackville Street, Dublin, 1919-21; Dublin United Traway Co., 112-113 Marlborough Street, Dublin, 1925; Dublin United Tramway Co., Upper Sackville Street,Dublin, 1925-1935.
Home: Barrow House, Carlow, <=1902->=1907; Herbert Lodge, St John's Road, Sandymount, Dublin, 1912; 74 Merrion Road, 1922-1927; 2 Queen's Park, Monkstown, 1928 until death.



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the ICEI membership applications, III, 86, and from the obituary of Harriss in TICEI 73 (1946-47), 229-230. Another brief obituary is in IB 89, 1947, 82. There are photographs of Harriss in IB 54, 16 Mar 1912, 158, and IB 65, 5 May 1923, ?.

(1) www.familysearch.org.
(2) IB 42, 1 Oct 1900, 500.
(3) IB 51, 15 May 1909, 297.
(4) IB 53, 5 Aug 1911, 538.
(5) IB 77, 24 Aug 1935, ?.
(6) IB 65, 24 Mar 1923, ?.
(7) TICEI 27 (1897-98), 20.
(8) TICEI 30 (1902-3), 9.
(9) TICEI lists of officers.
(10) IB 62, 14 Feb 1920, ?.
(11) From TICEI membership lists and Thom's directories.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for HARRISS, GEORGE MARSHALL

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Date: 1896
Nature: 100-ft high brick chimney. Contractor: J. & R. Beckett (£546).
Refs: IB 38, 15 Aug 1896, 177.

Date: 1905
Nature: Plans and specifications prepared by GMH.
Refs: IB 47, 15 Jul 1905, 485

Author Title Date Details
Harriss, George Marshall 'The electrical lighting of small towns' 1900 IB 42, 14 Jul,1 Aug 1900, 425,442. (Paper read to Municipal Electrical Association, 20 Jun 1900.)
Harriss, George Marshall 'Some notes on the construction of a West African Railway' 1912 TICEI 38 (1911-12), 85-133; IB 54, 16 Mar,13 Apr 1912, 158,214
Harriss, George Marshall 'Irish water poers and their place in an industrial scheme' 1920 TICEI 46 (1919-20), 109-148.
Harriss, George Marshall 'Electric Welding' 1922 TICEI 48 (1921-22), 178-202.
Harriss, George Marshall 'Tramways, trolley omnibuses and motor omnibuses on the highway' 1925 TICEI 51 (1924-1925), 82-113; IB 67, 7 Feb 1925, ?
Harriss, George Marshall 'The choice of systems for main line electrification' 1927 TICEI 53 (1926-27), 158-186.