The IET Archives recently received a donation comprising a lovely collection of Faraday House certificates and medals that were awarded to Derek Hosking in the early 1950s. The IET Archives already held some Faraday House material, which is perhaps unsurprising given that Faraday House was an electrical engineering training establishment, through which several of the presidents of the Institution of Electrical Engineering (predecessor of the IET) were educated. However, we did not previously hold any examples of either these certificates or the medals in our collections.

Faraday House Electrical Engineering College

Faraday House Electrical Engineering College, usually referred to as just Faraday House, was the educational facility of the Electrical Standardizing, Testing and Training Institution Limited. It was established in 1889 and was one of the first technical colleges in the UK. The organisation was founded by Robert Hammond (1850-1915), who had previously founded the Hammond Electrical Engineering College in 1884, and who served on the Board of Governors. Faraday House had strong connections with the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) and Lord Lindsay, one of the founders and original members in 1871 of the IEE’s predecessor the Society of Telegraph Engineers, was Chairman of the Governors of Faraday House from 1890 until his death in 1913.

In 1909 Dr Russell was appointed Faraday House Principal, and he pioneered the sandwich course whereby a student, following a year of theory, would spend a period in industry to gain experience, before returning to study. This structure of learning and training is evidenced in Derek Hosking’s Faraday House Diploma, shown below, which he received in May 1954. The Diploma shows that Derek started at Faraday House in May 1950, spent time in industry with Holman Brothers from April to December 1951, and then returned to college. Following further study at Faraday House, the Diploma shows Derek undertook further industrial training, this time at English Electric, from September 1953 to May 1954.


At the outbreak of World War II in 1939 Faraday House was evacuated to Thurlstone in Devon, and a new Principal, Dr W R C Coode-Adams, took over from Dr Russell (Coode-Adams signed the Diploma above). However, Faraday House’s time in Devon was short-lived and in 1942 it returned to its London home in Southampton Row, where it had been based since 1903. A plaque commemorating Faraday House can still be found in Southampton Row today. Following the war Faraday House struggled to recruit new students as many were lured by grants to go to other colleges and universities. A new Principal was appointed in 1957, G H Randolph, who had been a lecturer at Faraday House since 1948, but as a result of continuing losses Faraday House closed in 1967.

The Faraday House Old Student’s Association (FHOSA) closed in 2010, after 105 years in operation, as a consequence of a dwindling membership. The records of FHOSA, covering the period 1939-2009, and which include Faraday House brochures and prospectuses, were given to the IET Archives in 2010 (archive reference NAEST 212).

Derek Hosking and his Certificates/Medals

Derek J E Hosking trained during National Service in the UK as an Air Wireless Operator in the Royal Air Force (RAF) servicing aircraft radio equipment. Whilst with the RAF he worked on the Berlin airlift in Germany (1948-1949). After demobilization he attended Faraday House Engineering College, and after graduation worked for English Electric in various capacities. Derek finished his career in technical administration as a Purchasing Manager at GEC (which had merged with English Electric in 1968) on ‘GEC large machines’.

Derek’s apprenticeship with English Electric began in September 1953 whilst he was studying at Faraday House, and finished in April 1955, a year after he had left Faraday House. Derek’s certificate from English Electric showing the completion of his Graduate Apprenticeship with them is shown below.


Clearly Derek was academically gifted as is indicated by his Faraday House certificate of results dated September 1953 which shows that Derek achieved the level of first-class (often with distinction) in almost every subject that he sat. It also confirms that he was awarded the college silver medal for coming first in the first year examinations and the college gold medal for coming first in the third year examinations. The following images show both sides of Derek’s Faraday House gold medal.



Derek’s collection has been given an archive reference SC MSS 303 and can be consulted in the IET Archives by appointment. For those wishing to learn more about the history of Faraday House, the book ‘The Wise Men of the Wires: the History of Faraday House’, by F W Lipscomb, published in 1973, can be consulted in the IET Library.