Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard


DUFF, William Archibald, b. Sept. 1874, Montreal; d. 23 Feb. 1920, Montreal. Educated at Highbury House School, St. Leonard-on-the-Sea, England and the Montreal High School, he earned a B Sc. in mechanical engineering at McGill University (1894). He spent two or three years as a lecturer in McGill’s faculty of science, before working for Montreal’s Laurie Engine Company. Employed briefly by the Metropolitan Street Railway Company, New York, he completed a Master’s in electro chemistry at Columbia University (1898). He helped organize and build the Ottawa Carbide Company (1899-1900), spending three to four years in the electro chemistry department. He later worked for the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, Pittsburgh. In 1903, he was appointed assistant manager of the newly formed Canadian Westinghouse Company, Montreal. Promoted to manager of the Winnipeg office in 1907, he spent the remainder of his career with Westinghouse and was instrumental in the opening of branches in Calgary and Edmonton. In 1919, he retired  due to failing health. A member of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (renamed Engineering Institute of Canada, 1918), he served as a councillor from 1913 to 1915 and was chairman of the EIC's Winnipeg branch. A freemason, he belonged to many clubs and organizations, including the Manitoba Club, Winnipeg, and the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club, Montreal.


                                                                                                Brian Zijlstra