Black, William

BASc, PEng 
0T9 Civil Diploma 
Inducted: 1977 

William Duncan “Dolly” Black spent most of his active professional life with the Otis Elevator Company where he held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer from 1935 until his retirement in 1948.

Born in Toronto, he earned funds for tuition to the School of Practical Science by working as a labourer, and a street car conductor. Upon graduation, he worked for a time as resident field engineer on the Kentucky High River Bridge before joining the Fensom Elevator Company (which later became Otis) as a Construction Foreman.

Black was acknowledged as a man who combined technical and engineering competence with a deep sense of responsibility as a citizen. He was a devoted family man, as well as a capable administrator, and Engineer of high repute in his chosen field. He was active in engineering Alumni Association affairs and served as President in 1936.


  • Contributed much to munitions and armaments production from Otis Elevator plant in Hamilton during World War I and World War II
  • Director of the Bank of Canada, 1936, and later years
  • Numerous fellowships and memberships in various professional societies