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William Spencer PURSER  1885-1942

aka William S. Purser, William Purser, W. S. Purser, W. Purser
nationality British
birth 18 July 1885, Colchester, Essex, ENGLAND
death 6 May 1942, Winchmore Hill/Edmonton, ENGLAND (56y)
marriage on 26 Oct 1910 in Liverpool, Lancashire, ENGLAND
Sarah Elizabeth PRESCOTT

b. .. Jan/Feb/Mar 1884, West Derby, Lancashire
d. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1953, Edmonton (69y)

  • Doreen Ethel

    b. 27 Aug 1919, Hornsey/Edmonton
    d. ................


father Samuel Josiah PURSER

b. 4 Jul 1855, Cheltenham, Gloucester, ENGLAND
d. 25 Nov 1929, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

mother (1) Louisa Elizabeth PITT

b. 1856 in Cheltenham, Gloucester, ENGLAND
d. 19 July 1880, St Saviour, London, ENGLAND

marriage They got married on 17 May 1880 in Newport, Monmouth, ENGLAND. Two months later Louisa Elizabeth died.
  • Louisa

    b. ........
    d. .........

mother (2) Alice Selina Louisa SMITH

b. 20 Sep 1856, Cheltenham, Gloucester, ENGLAND
d. 3 Oct 1931, Palmers Green, London

marriage on 2 Aug 1884, Cheltenham, Gloucester, ENGLAND
  • William Spencer

    b. 18 July 1885, Colchester, Essex, ENGLAND
    d. 6 May 1942, Winchmore Hill (56y)

  • Frances Alice

    b. 2 Sep 1886, Cheltenham, Gloucester, ENGLAND
    d. 29 Oct 1977, Colchester, Essex, ENGLAND

mother (3) Lillie Belle HARRIS

b. 25 May 1874, Burnsville, Missisippi, USA
d. 17 Mar 1940, Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee

marriage in Mar 1895, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
  • Lillian Louisa

    b. .... 1896/1997, Tennessee, USA
    d. ...........


1911 CENSUS: 5 Apr 1911, Drinagh, Errislannan, Galway, IRELAND:
- William Spencer PURSER (25y) wireless telegraphist
- Sarah Elizabeth PURSER (26y)

William S. PURSER (36y/3m)
dep.: .. Nov 1921, Southampton, ENGLAND
arr.: 11 Nov 1921, New York, USA
Home address: London

W. S. PURSER (39y) manager
dep.: 23 May 1925, Southampton, ENGLAND
arr.: 29 May 1925, New York, USA
Home address: Mrs. W. S. Purser, 11 Bourne Hill, London N.

At The Gramophone Conference (1938) W. S. Purser of EMI spoke of Development in Wax Recording (from: The Musical Times).

Columbia moved to the 'Columbia Building' (later called Columbia House) from City Road about the beginning of 1913. The new premises were fitted up with showrooms, sales and clerical offices, stock rooms, and recording facilities—including a band testing-room, recording laboratory and artistes' reception room. (fn. 99) At this time the British branch of Columbia was one of the two leading companies in the United Kingdom manufacturing and selling gramophone players and records, the other being the Gramophone Co. Ltd (His Master's Voice). Columbia came to lead the field in orchestral recordings, signing up (Sir) Thomas Beecham and Sir Henry Wood in 1915. In the 1920s W. S. Purser, Columbia's chief engineer, made the first electrical recordings in this country in his fourth-floor workshop at Clerkenwell, developing a microphone for recording from the regular acoustic recording sessions in the studio above. (fn. 100)
In 1926-1928 Columbia expanded its Clerkenwell Road premises, taking over Nos 96 and 98-100, so as to accommodate newly acquired subsidiaries including the Johnson Talking Machine Co. and Parlophone records. The showroom in Illustration 582 may have been fitted up at this time. (fn. 101) In 1931, with the industry suffering from the Depression, Columbia and HMV merged to form Electric and Musical Industries Ltd (EMI). (fn. 102) The Clerkenwell Road studio proved too small and noisy for electrical recording, and by the early 1930s EMI recording was concentrated at Abbey Road.
(citation from: 'Clerkenwell Road', in Survey of London: Volume 46, South and East Clerkenwell, ed. Philip Temple (London, 2008), pp. 385-406 [accessed 8 December 2015]).


  • website: Descendants of William Edden of Darlingscott, Warwickshire - Twelfth Generation (Continued): entry No. 668: Samuel Josiah Purser
  • The London Gazette of 21 February 1902
  • The Musical Times, Vol. 79, No. 1150 (of Dec 1938), pp. 941-943





Gary W. Watson