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British Industrial History

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James Sheridan Muspratt

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(James) Sheridan Muspratt (1821–1871), chemist, from a family also involved in the chemical industry

1821 Born in Dublin, eldest son of James Muspratt

Assumed the name Sheridan as a result of his admiration for the actor and dramatist James Sheridan Knowles.

1836 Studied chemistry at Anderson's University, Glasgow

1837 Followed his tutor, Thomas Graham to University College, London

1837 James Sheridan Muspratt was involved in a project at University College, London, to make alkali by a novel (ammonia-soda) process and persuaded his father to invest in it. It was unsuccessful. Years later Solvay developed the ammonia-soda process successfully.

1841 Went to Philadelphia to manage the growing Muspratt business interests there but his optimistic forecasts of sales were far from fulfilled and he was called home after a year.

Worked with Liebig at Giessen.

1844 Gained a doctorate in 1844

Between 1845 and 1848 he also worked with A. W. Hofmann at the Royal College of Chemistry. Together they published important papers on toluidine and nitraniline.

1848 Married Susan Cushman; they had 3 daughters.

1848 Established the Liverpool College of Practical Chemistry

1860 Published "Muspratt's Chemistry as applied to Arts and Manufactures"

1860 After the death of his first wife, he married Ann Neale, of Rainhill.

1871 He died on 3 February 1871 at his home, The Hollies, West Derby, near Liverpool.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of James Sheridan Muspratt, ODNB