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Osbourne Reynolds

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Professor Osborne Reynolds (1842–1912), engineer and physicist

1913 Obituary [1]

PROFESSOR OSBORNE REYNOLDS, M.A. (Cantab.), LL.D. (Glasgow), F.R.S., born in Belfast in 1842, died at Watchet, Somerset, on the 21st February, 1912.

He was educated at Dedham Grammar School, Essex, and at Queens’ College, Cambridge, graduating as a high Wrangler in 1867. He had previously served a short apprenticeship in the works of Edward Hayes, of Stony Stratford, and after leaving college, he entered the London office of Lawson and Mansergh.

He was elected a Fellow, and afterwards Honorary Fellow, of his College, and in 1868 he was appointed to the Chair of Engineering at Owens College, Manchester, which he occupied for nearly 40 years.

During his long and brilliant occupancy of this Chair, he organized the famous Whitworth laboratories and made many very valuable contributions to science, especially to mechanical science. His investigations have been embodied in more than seventy Papers and larger works, chiefly contributed to the Proceedings of the principal scientific societies.

Among the more important may be mentioned his researches on the Racing of Screws, the Motion of Water in Parallel Channels, the Flow of Gases, the Theory of Lubrication, the Action of Sand and Granular Media, and the Creeping of Belts.

To this Institution he delivered in 1883 a Lecture on 'The General Theory of Thermo-Dynamics,' and contributed a Paper on 'The Theory of the Indicator and Errors in Indicator Diagrams,' which was awarded a Telford premium.

Probably his most remarkable work was that on the 'The Sub- Mechanics of the Universe,' published by the Royal Society in 1903.

In 1875 he patented the compound turbine pump, which has found extended application in recent years. Dr. Reynolds was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1877, and subsequently became a Member of the Council. He served as a Sectional President of the British Association in 1887, and in the following year received the Royal medal of the Royal Society.

Dr. Reynolds was elected a Member of The Institution on the 4th December, 1883.

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