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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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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 ...