Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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George Frederick Ansell

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George Frederick Ansell (1826–1880), chemist and assayer

1826 born at Carshalton, Surrey, the son of Robert Ansell, a snuff manufacturer, and his wife, Sarah Amoore.

Apprenticed for four years to a surgeon, but subsequently took up chemistry.

Took a course at the Royal College of Chemistry

Became an assistant to Dr A. W. Hofmann at the Royal School of Mines.

1854 Ansell gave a series of chemistry lectures at the Royal Panopticon of Science and Art, and also carried out experiments into the refining of gold.

1854 Married Sarah Cook (1821–1893). They had at least four sons and a daughter, Gertrude Mary Ansell.

1856 Appointed head of the rolling-room at the Royal Mint.

Ansell became increasingly critical of waste and inefficiency at the mint; disagreements with the Master of the Mint led to his dismissal after 10 years service.

He then practised as an analytical chemist. He also investigated the danger of explosions in coal mines including experiments at the Ince Hall colliery near Wigan.

1865 Patented a fire-damp indicator which was adopted with considerable success in collieries in Britain and the continent.

1870 Ansell published an extensive book about the mint.

1880 Died at home in Islington.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of George Frederick Ansell, ODNB