Low, Archibald

BORN 17 Oct 1888, Purley, Greater London - DIED 13 Sep 1956, London
BIRTH NAME Low, Archibald Montgomery
CAUSE OF DEATH lung tumour
GRAVE LOCATION London: Brompton Cemetery, Old Brompton Road, West Brompton (B)

Archibald Low was known as the 'father of radio guidance systems' because of his work on guided rockets and torpedoes. His father John Low was an engineer and as a young boy he lived in Australia with his family. He was interested in mechanics and technology from an early age and when he was sixteen he entered the Central Technical College, where professor Ashcroft was his teacher.

He worked at the engineering firm of his uncle Edward Low in London. He married around 1910 and had two children, but his wife left him soon afterwards although they saw each other occasionally.

In 1914 he demonstrated a forerunner of television at the Institute of Automobile Engineers. During the First World War he joined the Royal Flying Corps and he researched ways to remotely control aircraft so that they could be used as missiles in the project "Aerial Target". The Germans feared his inventions and in 1915 two attempts on his life failed. During the Second World War the Germans used his rocket guidance system for their own projects.

Low was unable to patent his findings because his inventions were automatically owned by the War Department. After the First World War he started the Low Engineering Company in London, but his business skills were inferior to his technical skills. In 1937 he published "Adrift in the Stratosphere", a science fiction novel for children. He wrote many more novels.

During the Second World War he examined captured German aircrafts. although his health was failing he still came up with new ideas and inventions. In 1956 his novel "Satellite in Space" was published, He died in the same year in London.


The grave of Archibald Low at Brompton Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (19 Aug 2017)


Archibald Low - Wikipedia
A.M. Low | Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers in the Great War

Lwe, Julie

Published: 15 Oct 2017
Last update: 13 Jan 2021