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Sir William Crookes (1832–1919) by Albert Ludovici, c. 1884–5 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Crookes, Sir William (1832–1919), chemist and science journalist, was born on 17 June 1832 at 143 Regent Street, London, the eldest son of the sixteen children of Joseph Crookes (1792–1884), a tailor from Yorkshire, and his second wife, Mary Scott of Aynhoe, Northamptonshire...

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Gore, George (1826–1908), electrochemist and scientific writer, was born at Blackfriars, Bristol, on 22 January 1826, the son of George Gore, a cooper. He was educated at a small private school in Bristol but left at the age of twelve or thirteen to become an errand boy. At the age of seventeen he was apprenticed to a cooper for four years, but pursued scientific study and experiment in his spare time. Of particular interest to him was electrodeposition and in 1851 he moved to ...

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Harris, John Edwin [Jack] (1932–2009), metallurgist and science writer, was born on 2 June 1932 at Oak Cottage, Penhow, near Chepstow, Monmouthshire, the elder son of John Frederick (Fred) Harris (1906–1978), then a road foreman for the rural district council, later an assistant surveyor, and his wife, ...

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Mason, Stephen Finney (1923–2007), chemist and historian of science, was born on 6 July 1923 at 11 Prebend Street, Leicester, the son of Leonard Stephen Mason, motor bus proprietor, and his wife, Crissie Harriette, née Finney, both of 24 Leicester Road, Anstey, four miles...

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Sir Richard Oswald Chandler Norman (1932–1993) by unknown photographer © News International Newspapers Ltd

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Norman, Sir Richard Oswald Chandler (1932–1993), chemist, was born on 27 April 1932 in Norbury, London, the only child of Oswald George Norman (1890–1941), bank manager, and his wife, Violet Maud, née Chandler (1901–1981). He was educated at Durston House preparatory school in ...

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James Riddick Partington (1886–1965) by Ruth Partington Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London

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Partington, James Riddick (1886–1965), chemist and historian of science, was born on 20 June 1886 at 194 Morris Green Lane, Middle Hulton, Lancashire, the only son and first of the three children of Alfred Partington, bookkeeper of Bolton, and his wife, Mary Agnes...

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Russell, Colin Archibald (1928–2013), chemist and historian of science, was born on 9 July 1928 at 72 Pendennis Road, Streatham, London, the son of Archibald Leonard Russell, a branch manager for an insurance company, and his wife, Jessie Winifred, née Price (1895–1982), who had been a teacher before her marriage. He was taught by ...

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Cyril Stanley Smith (1903–1992) by Godfrey Argent, 1970 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Smith, Cyril Stanley (1903–1992), metallurgist and historian of technology, was born on 4 October 1903 in Birmingham, the third of the four children of Joseph Seymour Smith, a commercial traveller for Camp coffee, and his wife, Frances, née Norton (1871–1949). He was brought up in a Methodist household. He was educated by avidly reading the ...

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Sutton, Leslie Ernest (1906–1992), chemist, was born on 22 June 1906 at 48 Newry Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, the only son of Edgar Sutton (1880–1972), a railway clerk, and his wife, Margaret Lilian Winifred, née Heard (1880–1965). The family later moved to 9 Southsea Avenue, Watford...

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Tate, (Alexander) Norman (1837–1892), analytical chemist and teacher of science, was born on 24 February 1837 at Wells, Somerset, the son of James Tate, an alderman, and his wife, Emma Norman. He was educated at the cathedral grammar school and in 1857, after practising pharmacy for a time, he began studying chemistry in the laboratory of ...

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Taylor, Frank Sherwood (1897–1956), chemist and historian of science, was born on 26 November 1897 at Bickley, Bromley, Kent, the son of Seaton Frank Taylor (1844–1930), a prosperous solicitor, and his wife, Helen Sennerth Davidson. He was educated at Sherborne School and won a classical scholarship at ...