Memoirs and Letters of Sidney Gilchrist Thomas, Inventorby Sidney Gilchrist Thomas
Pub. Date: 05/19/2011
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
First published in 1891, this memoir describes the life of the metallurgist and inventor Sidney Gilchrist Thomas (1850–1885), best-known for discovering the method of eliminating phosphorus from pig iron which revolutionised the commercial production of steel. Professing a desire to give a 'true' account of a life in contrast to the somewhat hagiographic approach of some contemporary writers, Thomas' biographer, R. W. Burnie, sets out to construct 'a brief history of a very striking and individual character'. The details of Thomas' short life are narrated in 22 chapters, beginning with his early education, his work as a schoolmaster and police clerk whilst studying law and chemistry at night, his career, and his work-related travels, which took him everywhere from central Europe to New Zealand. The memoir also includes a postscript which reveals that Thomas left his considerable fortune to workers in steel production.
Table of ContentsEditor's preface; 1. Early days; 2. A summer tour; 3. A 'double life'; 4. The problem of dephosphorisation; 5. Years of equipment; 6. The problem theoretically solved – a German tour; 7. 'Technical travel talk'; 8. Experiments – a dash into Switzerland; 9. The basic process publicly announced; 10. The basic process described; 11. Triumph; 12. Dusseldorf – a gathering cloud; 13. A visit to the United States; 14. Health fails in earnest; 15. South Africa; 16. Mauritius and India; 17. Ceylon, and the voyage to Australia; 18. Australia; 19. Homeward bound; 20. A sad home-coming and a flight south; 21. A winter in Algiers; 22. The last days in Paris; Conclusion.
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