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British Industrial History

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Frederick Charles Tipler

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Frederick Charles Tipler (1864-1920)

1920 Obituary [1]

FREDERICK CHARLES TIPLER, born 1864, died on September 20, 1920.

After serving an engineering apprenticeship at the London and North Western Railway Locomotive Works at Crewe, he entered the Chemical Laboratory as an assistant in 1886, and was appointed Chief Chemist to the London and North Western Railway Company in 1899.

He was keenly interested in the study of the internal structure of metals, and many investigations in this direction were made in his laboratory during the time that he was Chief Chemist - more especially in connection with the heat treatment of steel. Large scale experiments are still in progress on tyres for locomotive wheels, the structure of which had been rendered sorbitic by heat treatment. He also carried out work on the structure and composition of copper alloys, especially on those used in the construction of locomotives, and many other investigations on questions especially important to railway companies, such as on rails, sleepers, creosoting, lubricants, &c. He was responsible for the introduction of long-burning signal lamps on the English railways.

In 1912 he visited Germany and brought away with him sketch plans of the tank wagons in which liquid chlorine was being conveyed in that country. These, modified to some extent, formed the basis of the plans for the tank wagons required in this country when chlorine became a weapon of offensive warfare.

Essentially practical, he yet attached due importance to theory and to the fundamental principles of physics and chemistry underlying practice. He was a Whitworth scholar (1887), and a Silver Medallist for Iron and Steel Manufacture of the City and Guilds of London Institute.

He was a member of the Society of Chemical Industry from 1894 to the time of his death, and was elected member of the Institute of Metals on May 2, 1918.

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