Isaac Lowthian Bell
Isaac Lowthian Bell, 1st Baronet FRS (18 February 1816 – 20 December 1904), was a Victorian ironmaster and Liberal Party politician from Washington, Co. Durham.
Attended the Academy run by John Bruce in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Edinburgh University and the Sorbonne.
Practical experience in alkali manufacture at Marseilles.
1835 Joined the Walker Ironworks; studied the the operation of the blast furnaces and rolling mills.
A desire to master thoroughly the technology of any manufacturing process was to be one of the hallmarks of Bell's career.
In 1844 Lowthian Bell and his brothers Thomas and John formed a new company, Bell Brothers, to operate the Wylam ironworks. These works, based at Port Clarence on the Tees, began pig-iron production with three blast furnaces in 1854 and became one of the leading plants in the north-east iron industry. The firm's output had reached 200,000 tons by 1878 and the firm employed about 6,000 men.
1850 Bell started his own chemical factory at Washington in Gateshead, established a process for the manufacture of an oxychloride of lead, and operated the new French Deville patent, used in the manufacture of aluminium. Bell expanded these chemical interests in the mid-1860s, when he developed with his brother John a large salt working near the ironworks.
In 1854 he built Washington Hall, now called Dame Margaret's Hall.
He was twice Lord Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Member of Parliament for North Durham from February to June 1874, and for Hartlepool from 1875 to 1880.
1884 President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
In 1895 he was awarded the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts, 'in recognition of the services he has rendered to Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, by his metallurgical researches and the resulting development of the iron and steel industries'.
A founder of the Iron and Steel Institute, he was its president from 1873 to 1875, and in 1874 became the first recipient of the gold medal instituted by Sir Henry Bessemer. He was president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1884.
1842 He married Margaret Pattison. Their children were Mary Katherine Bell, who married Edward Stanley, 4th Baron Stanley of Alderley and Sir Thomas Hugh Bell, 2nd Baronet.
Lowthian Bell died at his home, Rounton Grange, Rounton, Northallerton, North Riding of Yorkshire, on 20 December 1904
1905 Obituary