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Thomas Richardson (c1817-1867)

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Dr. Thomas Richardson (c1817-1867)

1870 Obituary [1]

DR. THOMAS RICHARDSON, Ph.D., M.A. (Durham), F.R.S. L. and E., &C., was born in Newcastle about the year 1817.

His preliminary education was received in that town, but at a comparatively early age he proceeded to the University of Glasgow, where he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Thomson.

He then entered the Giessen Laboratory, and studied organic chemistry under Liebig. Thence he went to Paris, where he spent some time working, it is believed, under Pelouze.

Returning to Newcastle, he commenced professional practice, but soon became connected with manufacturing chemistry. For some time he was largely interested in lead-works, and introduced the 'improving' process for Spanish hard leads, as well as a modification of the 'Economico' furnace.

Towards 1852 he devoted himself especially to the manufacture of artificial manure, and at the time of his death was managing partner of the Monkton Manure Company.

He held for a long time the joint chair of chemistry in the College of Medicine, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and in 1859 succeeded Dr. Johnston in the readership in chemistry of the University of Durham. His speciality throughout life was Chemical Technology and he is best known to chemists by his share in the translation (which really amounted to the writing of a new work) of Knapp's Chemical Technology. He was also the author of various Papers on the application of Chemistry to Manufactures. To Engineers, however, he is, perhaps, better known from his practical investigations of the economical combustion of fuel under steam-boilers, undertaken originally on behalf of the North Country Steam Coal Association, in conjunction with Sir W. S. Armstrong, M. Inst. C.E, and Mr. J. A. Longridge, M. Inst. C.E. : these experiments were largely extended on the Northern and Welsh coals at the Keyham dockyard, and demonstrated several new facts of importance.

At the time of his death, which occurred on the 10th of July, 1867, in the fifty-first year of his age, he had just concluded an elaborate examination, since published, in company with Mr. L. E. Fletcher, Assoc. Inst. C.E., of the Lancashire and Cheshire coal.

He had only been elected an Associate of the Institution on the 3rd Nay, 1864, and had therefore belonged to the Society too short a time to become generally known to the members by active participation in its proceedings.

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