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British Industrial History

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Robert Angus Smith

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Dr. (Robert) Angus Smith (1817-1884) FRS, analytical chemist, a pioneer in experimenting upon impurities in the air, and known for his "composition" which was used for coating metal pipes, to protect them.

1817 Born in Glasgow, son of John Smith and Janet Thomson[1]

Attended university in Glasgow.

Worked as a private tutor

1841 Gained a PhD at Giessen in Germany working with Justus Liebig

1842 Became assistant to Lyon Playfair at Manchester Royal Institution

Became a consulting chemist

1847 Published his first paper on health effects of the components of the air.

1856 Wrote a tribute to Dalton in 'History of Atomic Theory'.[2]

Prominent in the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society

1864 Elected chief inspector under the Alkali Act

1874 Developed a method for internal lining of water pipes

1881 Robert Angus Smith 64, Chemist FRS, PhD etc, and Government Inspector of Alkali works, lived in Chorlton with his niece Jessie K. Smith 45[3]

1884 Died in Colwyn Bay[4]

'Dr. Smith was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1857; he was a corresponding member of the Royal Bavarian Academy, vice-president of the Chemical Society, of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, and of the Institute of Chemistry. He assisted in the Jury of the Exhibition of 1862, and of the French Exposition in 1878. In 1882 the degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by the University of Edinburgh.'

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. The Engineer 1884/06/06
  3. 1881 census
  4. National probate calendar
  • Biography, DNB