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Francis Thomas Bacon (1904–1992) by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies, 1987 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bacon, Francis Thomas [Tom] (1904–1992), engineer and developer of the fuel cell, was born on 21 December 1904 at Ramsden Hall, Ramsden Crays, Billericay, Essex, the second of three sons of Thomas Walter Bacon (1863–1950), electrical engineer, and his wife, Edith Mary, née...

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Bell, Ronald Percy (1907–1996), physical chemist, was born on 24 November 1907 at Willowfield, Court House Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, the eldest child of Edwin Alfred Bell (d. 1954) and his wife, Beatrice Annie, née Ash (d. 1929), elementary school teachers. He had a younger brother and an adopted younger sister. He was educated at ...

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Brearley, Harry (1871–1948), metallurgist, was born on 18 February 1871 at 23 Spital Street, Sheffield, the youngest of five sons and the eighth of nine children of John Brearley, steelworker, and his wife, Jane Senior. Brearley's father was 'an expert steel melter and also an expert ale-supper...

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Brodie, Sir Benjamin Collins, second baronet (1817–1880), chemist, was born in Sackville Street, Piccadilly, London, on 5 February 1817, the eldest son of Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie (1783–1862), surgeon, and his wife, Anne Sellon (1797–1861). At the age of eleven he went to ...

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Fowden, Sir Leslie (1925–2008), plant biochemist, was born on 13 October 1925 at Birch Hill House, Wardle, Rochdale, Lancashire, the only child of Herbert Fowden (1878–1960), an iron turner at Turner Brothers, ironfounders, and his wife, Amy Dorothy (1891–1960), a cotton minder and daughter of ...

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Gregory, William (1803–1858), chemist and psychic investigator, was born at St Andrew's Square, Edinburgh, on 25 December 1803, the fourth son of James Gregory (1753–1821), professor of medicine in the University of Edinburgh, and his second wife, Miss McLeod. He was descended from a long line of '...

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Higgins, (Hugh) Christopher Longuet- (1923–2004), theoretical chemist and cognitive scientist, was born at The Vicarage, Lenham, Kent, on 11 April 1923, the elder son and second of the three children of Henry Hugh Longuet Longuet-Higgins (1886-1966), vicar of Lenham, and his wife, Albinia Cecil, ...

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Norrish, Ronald George Wreyford (1897–1978), physical chemist, was born at Panton Street, Cambridge, on 9 November 1897, the elder son (there were no daughters) of Herbert Norrish, pharmacist, and his wife, Amy Norris, who came from the Isle of Wight. His father had settled in ...

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Lyon Playfair, first Baron Playfair (1818–1898) by Maull & Polyblank, 1855 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Playfair, Lyon, first Baron Playfair (1818–1898), politician and chemist, was born on 21 May 1818 at either Meerut (Who's Who) or Chunar in Bengal (Reid), second son of eight children of George Playfair (1782–1846), chief inspector-general of hospitals in ...

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Nevil Vincent Sidgwick (1873–1952) by John Merton, 1954 Lincoln College, Oxford

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Sidgwick, Nevil Vincent (1873–1952), chemist, was born in Oxford on 8 May 1873, the eldest child of William Carr Sidgwick (1834–1919) and (Sarah) Isabella Thompson (d. 1915). There were intellectuals on both sides of the family: his father had been a classical fellow of ...

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Swindin, Norman (1880–1976), chemical engineer, was born at Silkstone Common, Silkstone, Yorkshire, on 16 December 1880, the eldest of three sons and a daughter of William Swindin, stationmaster at Silkstone, and his wife, Martha Normansell. The family moved in 1884 to Macclesfield, where ...

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Sir Henry Thomas Tizard (1885–1959) by Howard Coster, 1942 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Tizard, Sir Henry Thomas (1885–1959), physical chemist and science administrator, was born on 23 August 1885 at Gillingham, Kent, the only son and third of five children of Thomas Henry Tizard (1839–1924), naval officer and hydrographer, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth (d...

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E. I. Carlyle

revised by Kevin C. Knox

Turner, Matthew (d. 1789?), chemist and radical theologian, was an established surgeon and teacher by 1760; little is known of his life before then. During his most productive years he worked and socialized in the non-Anglican milieu of England's north-western counties, his friends and colleagues including ...

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Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson (1921–1996) by Liam Woon, 1990 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Wilkinson, Sir Geoffrey (1921–1996), inorganic chemist, was born on 14 July 1921 at 506 Halifax Road, Springside, near Todmorden, Yorkshire, the eldest of three children of Henry Wilkinson (1885–1975), master painter and decorator, and his wife, Ruth, née Crowther (1891–1962), weaver. Both his parents came from ...