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British Industrial History

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Herbert Jackson

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Sir Herbert Jackson (1863–1936), chemist

1863 born in Whitechapel, London, son of Samuel Jackson and his wife, Clementina Rebecca Grant.

Attended King's College School

1879 entered King's College, London, where he worked for thirty-nine years

Researched the excitation of phosphorescence by means of discharge tubes; he discovered that by using a concave cathode he could concentrate the phosphorescent response of material. The Jackson "focus-tube" became the prototype of later X-ray tubes. Investigated many other areas too, such as the weathering of stone, and the action of soaps and solvents in laundry work; his advice on chemical matters was frequently sought by manufacturers.

1900 he married Amy Collister. They had no children

1905 Became professor of organic chemistry

1914 Became Daniell professor of chemistry

WWI Led an advisory committee to define formulae for the scarcest types of industrial glasses, including a full range of optical glasses, which had previously been imported. He also advised the glass manufacturers, and helped them to eliminate production problems. Represented the government on the board of British Potash Co.

1917 For his war services he was appointed KBE. Also elected a fellow of the Royal Society.

1918 Emeritus professor. Appointed the first director of research of the British Scientific Instrument Research Association, a post that he held successfully until his retirement in 1933.

1918 President of the Institute of Chemistry

1936 Died in Hampstead


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of Sir Herbert Jackson, ODNB