Bell, Sir Isaac Lowthian

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b. 15 February 1816 Newcastle upon Tyne, England
d. 20 December 1904 Rounton Grange, Northallerton, Yorkshire, England
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English ironworks proprietor, chemical manufacturer and railway director, widely renowned for his scientific pronouncements.
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Following an extensive education, in 1835 Bell entered the Tyneside chemical and iron business where his father was a partner; for about five years from 1845 he controlled the ironworks. In 1844, he and his two brothers leased an iron blast-furnace at Wylam on Tyne. In 1850, with partners, he started chemical works at Washington, near Gateshead. A few years later, with his two brothers, he set up the Clarence Ironworks on Teesside. In the 1880s, salt extraction and soda-making were added there; at that time the Bell Brothers' enterprises, including collieries, employed 6,000 people.
Lowthian Bell was a pioneer in applying thermochemistry to blast-furnace working. Besides his commercial interests, scientific experimentation and international travel, he found time to take a leading part in the promotion of British technical organizations; upon his death he left evidence of a prodigious level of personal activity.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Created baronet 1885. FRS 1875. Légion d'honneur 1878. MP, Hartlepool, 1875–80. President: British Iron Trade Association; Iron and Steel Institute; Institution of Mechanical Engineers; North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers; Institution of Mining Engineers; Society of the Chemical Industry. Iron and Steel Institute Bessemer Gold Medal 1874 (the first recipient). Society of Arts Albert Medal 1895.
Bibliography
The first of several books, Bell's Chemical Phenomena of Iron Smelting… (1872), was soon translated into German, French and Swedish. He was the author of more than forty technical articles.
Further Reading
1900–1910, Dictionary of National Biography.
C.Wilson, 1984, article in Dictionary of Business Biography, Vol. I, ed. J.Jeremy, Butterworth (a more discursive account).
D.Burn, 1940, The Economic History of Steelmaking, 1867–1939: A Study in Competition, Cambridge (2nd edn 1961).
JKA

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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