First published in 1891, this memoir describes the life of the metallurgist and inventor Sidney Gilchrist Thomas (1850–1885), best-known for discovering the method of eliminating phosphorus from pig iron which revolutionised the commercial production of steel. Professing a desire to give a 'true' account of a life in contrast to the somewhat hagiographic approach of some contemporary writers, Thomas' biographer, R. W. Burnie, sets out to construct 'a brief history of a very striking and individual character'. The details of Thomas' short life are narrated in 22 chapters, beginning with his early education, his work as a schoolmaster and police clerk whilst studying law and chemistry at night, his career, and his work-related travels, which took him everywhere from central Europe to New Zealand. The memoir also includes a postscript which reveals that Thomas left his considerable fortune to workers in steel production.
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- Date Published: May 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108026918
- length: 334 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.43kg
- contains: 2 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Early days
2. A summer tour
3. A 'double life'
4. The problem of dephosphorisation
5. Years of equipment
6. The problem theoretically solved – a German tour
7. 'Technical travel talk'
8. Experiments – a dash into Switzerland
9. The basic process publicly announced
10. The basic process described
12. Dusseldorf – a gathering cloud
13. A visit to the United States
14. Health fails in earnest
15. South Africa
16. Mauritius and India
17. Ceylon, and the voyage to Australia
19. Homeward bound
20. A sad home-coming and a flight south
21. A winter in Algiers
22. The last days in Paris
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