William Henry (Meme) Raby Roberts

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William Henry (Meme) Raby Roberts

Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Copiapó, Chile, Atacama, Chile
Death: June 23, 1920 (74)
Lota, Región del Bio Bio, Chile
Place of Burial: Lota, Región del Bio Bio, Chile
Immediate Family:

Son of William Raby and Eliza Roberts
Husband of Carmela Villagrán; Jenny Trevena and Alejandrina Orellana
Father of Guillermina del Carmen Raby Villagran; Herminia Raby; Rosa Nelly Raby; Martín Raby Trevena; Enrique Guillermo Raby Trevena and 6 others
Brother of Gregory Raby Roberts; Catherine Raby Roberts; Eliza Raby Roberts; Josiah Raby Roberts and Jane Raby Roberts

Occupation: Ingeniero
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Henry (Meme) Raby Roberts

Guillermo nacio en 1846 en Copiapo, a los 3 años quedo huerfano de madre y su padre se lo llevo junto con sus hermanos a Inglaterra en 1855, a la casa de su abuela materna en Truro (Cornwall). A los 20 años volvio a Chile y fue contratado por Matias Cousiño, murio en 1920 y esta sepultado en el cementerio de Lota.

He married Juana Trevena (1851 - 1897) "Jinny", the older daughter of the 2nd wife of his father William W. Raby and the couple had 3 sons. He was widowed at age 51 and went to live with his 3 sisters and their families, but without a lot of success. He was interred in the Cemetery of Lota. The tomb contains the remains of his wife Jenny and his eldest son Enrique. During the earthquake of 1960 the tomb of his brother, Gregory Raby and family, collapsed. Their remains were transferred to William's tomb, which now contains Gregory Raby, his wife Mary Ann Matthews, their children Vivian, Cyril and Sydney, Sydney's wife, Ida Laemmermann Gaus and Walter Schenk Hirlemann, husband of Mary Ann Raby Laemmermann (Mollie), who passed away in 1959.

The 1897 430 kW Chivilingo Plant was the first hydroelectric plant in Chile and the second in South America. A 10 km line fed the Lota coal mines and the railway extracting minerals 12 km from shore under the sea. It represented a new key technology and a new source of electrical energy in the region as a tool for economic development. Chivilingo demonstrated the advantages of industrial use of electricity and hastened its widespread adoption in Chile.

Studies on the feasibility of building a hydro plant in the site were initiated in 1893. The increasing need for power that was cheaper and easily adapted to mine underground use drove the Lota coal mine company to develop a study of alternatives for this purpose. Engineer William E. Raby traveled to the United States and Europe to assess the use of electricity generation and transmission. The availability of the Chivilingo hydro resources arose as a better alternative to a steam plant. Electricity for driving motors for coal mine exploitation under the sea had many advantages over other sources of power (coal included). Alternating current to feed three phase motors was seen as the most economic, easily managed, and less prone to accidents, solution for work power inside the mines.

An international tender was made, with proposals requested to the main US and Germany consultant firms, for both the hydraulic and electric installations. Total freedom was given in relation to power transmission system to be used. A Pelton turbine was specified as a requirement. The civil works and the aqueduct were to be built by the Lota company.

Work to build the Chivilingo power station started in 1896 and it was inaugurated in 1897. It was the first hydroelectric power plant in Chile and the second in South America.

Thomas A. Edison supposedly designed the plant. The North American company Consolidated Co. built it and the electrical equipment was provided by Schuckert & Co., from Nürnberg, Germany.

The "El Sur" newspaper brought the news to all of Chile and helped to inform other countries in the region.The plant was in operation for 78 years (from 1897 to 1975), in its later years interconnected to the main Chilean Central Interconnected System.

Chivilingo was declared a historical monument by the government of Chile on 25 October 1990, and published in the Official Gazette (Diario Fiscal) Number 33837 on 6 December 1990.

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William Henry (Meme) Raby Roberts's Timeline

Copiapó, Chile, Atacama, Chile
September 25, 1869
Age 23
Coquimbo Region, Chile
April 14, 1872
Age 26
La Serena, Elqui Province, Coquimbo Region, Chile
June 22, 1873
Age 27
Lota, Concepción Province, Bío Bío Region, Chile
December 21, 1889
Age 43
Lota, Concepción Province, Bio-Bio, Chile
June 23, 1920
Age 74
Lota, Región del Bio Bio, Chile
Age 74
Lota, Región del Bio Bio, Chile