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Ernest Henry Saniter

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Ernest Henry Saniter (c1863-1934), chief metallurgist of United Steel Companies

c1863 Born in Middlesbrough

1892 Patent. 17692 Improvements in or relating to the purification of iron or steel from sulphur.[1]

1901 Living at 51 Grange Road, Middlesbrough: Ernest H. Saniter (age 37 born Middlesbrough), Engineer, Steel Works. With his wife Annie Saniter (age 35 born Wigan) and their daughter Marie E. Saniter (age 8 months born Middlesbrough). One servant.[2]


1934 Obituary [3]

Chemists, metallurgists, and engineers will alike learn with regret of the recent death of Mr. E. H. Saniter, the chief metallurgist of United Steel Companies, Ltd., which took place on Friday, November 2nd. Mr. Saniter, who was a pioneer worker of considerable inventive genius, was born in Middlesbrough over seventy years ago.

In 1883 he was appointed the assistant chemist at the North-Eastern Steel Works, Middlesbrough, a post which he held for seven years, after which he became the chief chemist to the Wigan Coal and Iron Company.

It was during his service with that firm from 1890 to 1897 that he invented his process for the desulphuring of iron and steel, which brought him special distinction.

In 1898 he joined the technical staff of Dorman, Long and Co., and Bell Brothers, and while at the Port Clarence works demonstrated the suitability of common Cleveland iron for making high-class basic open-hearth steel. As a result of that now process, a 200-ton mixer, eight 50-ton basic open-hearth furnaces, and a rolling mill were installed.

When he left Port Clarence in 1904 Mr. Saniter took a position with Steel, Peach and Tozer, Ltd., and four years later he invented a machine for testing the relative wearing properties of steel by means of rolling friction, and described it in a paper read before the Iron and Steel Institute.

Mr. Saniter was a valued member of the Iron and Steel Institute, the Society of Chemical industry, and a Fellow of the Chemical Society. His outstanding contributions to metallurgical science will long be remembered.


1934 Obituary [4]

ERNEST HENRY SANITER died suddenly at his home at Rotherham on November 2, 1934.

Mr. Saniter was born in Middlesbrough in 1863, and began his professional career in the metallurgical laboratory of the late Dr. Stead.

In 1883 he was appointed assistant chemist at the North-Eastern Steelworks, Middlesbrough, and seven years later, in 1890, he took up the position of chief chemist to the Wigan Coal and Iron Co. In the following years he invented and brought to a successful issue the well-known "Saniter" process for the desulphurisation of iron and steel, which brought him special distinction; this process was described in papers presented before the Iron and Steel Institute (September, 1892, and May, 1893) and before other technical societies.

In 1898 he joined the technical staff of Messrs. Dorman, Long & Co., and Bell Bros., and while at the Port Clarence works he demonstrated the suitability of common Cleveland iron for making high-class basic open-hearth steel; as a result, a 200-ton mixer, eight 50-ton basic open-hearth furnaces and a rolling-mill were installed.

In 1904 Mr. Saniter became chief metallurgist to Messrs. Steel, Peech and Tozer Ltd., of Sheffield, now a branch of the United Steel Companies; he was still actively associated with this firm at the time of his death.

In 1908, he invented a machine for testing the relative wearing properties of rail steel under rolling friction; this also was described in a paper read before the Iron and Steel Institute (September, 1908). Much earlier he had presented a paper before this Institute, describing a new method for the analysis of chrome ore and ferro-chromium (September, 1892). These and his other valuable contributions to metallurgical science will long be remembered.

Mr. Saniter was a member of the Society of Chemical Industry and a Fellow of the Chemical Society; he had been connected with the British Standards Institution practically from the time of its inception. He was a very good friend and a valued member of the Iron and Steel Institute; he joined in 1892, became a Member of Council in 1921, and was elected a Vice-President in 1927. In 1910, the Council awarded him the Bessemer Gold Medal, the highest distinction in their power to bestow, as a mark of their appreciation of the services which he bad rendered to the science and practice of iron and steel manufacture.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Sheffield Independent - Friday 14 October 1892
  2. 1901 Census
  3. The Engineer 1934/11/09
  4. 1934 Iron and Steel Institute: Obituaries