Frederick Danvers Power 1861-1955
Mining engineer, educator and collector.
Power was born in England and educated at Malvern College, the Royal School of Mines, London, and the Mining Academy, Clausthal in Germany.
In 1884 he migrated to Australia where he settled, initially in Melbourne, pursuing his mining engineering career. He worked as an analyst at Bethanga and was General Manager of Great Cobar Mines. Interested in the propagation of technical knowledge, he was for many years associated with the Australasian Institute of Mining Engineers that later became the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, including his role as a President of the Institute. Power was a Fellow of the Geological Society, a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in London, lecturer in Mining at Sydney University (1902-1935), and a member of the Mine Managers examination panel.
Power travelled extensively to North and South America, North and South Africa, Java, China, Japan, New Caledonia, New Zealand and various islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans where, among perusing other interests, he collected native artefacts. He donated many artefacts directly to the Australian Museum. Some artefacts that the Pacific Islands Company donated to the Museum, were collected by Power and another company employee A. E. Stephens. It is interesting to note that the most artefacts he and the company donated to the Museum were from the Pacific islands where phosphate mining was conducted from the early 20th century, such as on Nauru and Banaba (Ocean Island).
Power was a prolific writer of technical books and journal articles. His book Coalfields and Collieries of Australia, written in 1912, became a standard reference text. He formed his own publishing company Rhincru Press and in retirement published a number of works on technical and social issues. Apart from his lifelong interest in mining, Power was an assistant Commissioner in the Boy Scouts Association, wrote many articles for the Scouters Gazette and was author of the Australian Boy Scouts Handbook.
The Pacific Islands Company had morphed into British Phosphate Company in 1902 and after World War I into the British Phosphate Commission.