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British Industrial History

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Henry Borns

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Henry Borns (1855-1930)

1930 Obituary[1]


We have this week to record the loss of an old and valued colleague and friend, who contributed to our columns for a period of over forty years. Henry Borns, Ph.D., who died early in the morning of Friday of last week, was never actually on the staff of this Journal, but had been closely associated with it since the early ’eighties. He concerned himself more particularly with physical science and its applications, and with such aspects of chemistry as fall within our sphere. He was, for instance, in the habit of preparing reports for us of the meetings of the British Association, other than the Engineering Section, and in the course of this activity attended meetings of the Association in Australia and South Africa, and twice in Canada. He also did much work in connection with meetings of the Royal Institution. Dr. Borns had a remarkably detailed knowledge of a wide range of scientific subjects, and any appeal made to him in connection with, for instance, an obscure physical experiment or little-known physical instrument was usually rewarded with some helpful information. He also had a wide knowledge of historical and other subjects outside the scientific sphere, and was acquainted with the literature of at least three languages.

Dr. Borns had been in somewhat indifferent health for a number of years, but seldom allowed this to interfere with his intellectual activities. He retained his quiet humour throughout—a humour which, at times, was somewhat ironic at his own expense. His last illness was a long and painful one. Born in 1855, he would have been 76 years of age on January 3 next. He was a member of various scientific societies concerned with his special interests, such as the Royal Institution and British Association, on both of which he was, or had been, a member of the general committee. He was made a Fellow of the Physical Society in 1895. He was widely known in scientific circles, where his knowledge and kindly personality will be keenly missed, as they will by the Journal for which he worked so faithfully and so long."

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