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Richard Smith (d.1891)

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Richard Smith ( -1891)

1891 Obituary [1]

RICHARD SMITH, who died at his residence in London on the 7th of August 1891, was one of the original staff of the Royal School of Mines, on its formation in 1851. He was associated with the late Sir Henry de la Beebe, Dr. Percy (Past-President of the Iron and Steel Institute), and others in laying the foundations of the extended career of usefulness by which that establishment has been distinguished during the last forty years.

While the Museum of Economic Geology, which preceded the Royal School of Mines, was located in Craig's Court, Charing Cross, Mr. Smiths became junior assistant to the late Mr. R. Phillips, F.R.S., as chemist, and on the transfer of the Museum to. Jermyn Street, where it has since been carried on, Mr. Smith was appointed Dr. Percy's assistant in the metallurgical laboratory. In. that capacity Mr. Smith has been a most successful demonstrator and teacher, although always discharging his duties in such a quiet and unobtrusive manner that he never sought, and perhaps, except from those who came into intimate contact with him, never received, the credit to which their faithful and capable performance entitled them. Many of the' students who have passed through his hands are now filling important positions in mining, metallurgical, and engineering spheres, and by these, at least, he is likely to be gratefully and affectionately remembered.

The late Mr. Richard Smith undertook, in the laboratory of the Royal School of Mines and elsewhere, many original investigations into abstruse or imperfectly known metallurgical problems. The results of not a few of these have been communicated to the world through the volumes of Dr. Percy's "Metallurgy," and have been duly acknowledged by that writer. But although he did much valuable work for and through others, Mr. Smith was of too retiring a disposition to seek publicity for himself, and his independent communications to the literature of the subject of metallurgy have been comparatively few. As a notable example of this fact, it may be mentioned that he has never made any communication to the Iron and Steel Institute, which he joined, on the nomination of his superior, Dr. Percy, in 1887. He acted as Laboratory Demonstrator at the Royal School of Mines until the commencement of the present year. Paralysis was the immediate cause of his death.

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