Dow, Herbert Henry

SUBJECT AREA: Metallurgy
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b. 26 February 1866 Belleville, Ontario, Canada
d. 15 October 1930 Rochester, Minnesota, USA
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American industrial chemist, pioneer manufacturer of magnesium alloys.
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Of New England ancestry, his family returned there soon after his birth and later moved to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1884, Dow entered the Case School of Applied Science, graduating in science four years later. His thesis dealt partly with the brines of Ohio, and he was persuaded to present a paper on brine to the meeting of the American Association for he Advancement of Science being held in Cleveland the same year. That entailed visits to collect samples of brines from various localities, and led to the observation that their composition varied, one having a higher lithium content while another was richer in bromine. This study of brines proved to be the basis for his career in industrial chemistry. In 1888 Dow was appointed Professor of Chemistry at the Homeopathic Hospital College in Cleveland, but he continued to work on brine, obtaining a patent in the same year for extracting bromine by blowing air through slightly electrolysed brine. He set up a small company to exploit the process, but it failed; the process was taken up and successfully worked by the Midland Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. The electrolysis required a direct-current generator which, when it was installed in 1892, was probably the first of its kind in America. Dow next set up a company to produce chlorine by the electrolysis of brine. It moved to Midland in 1896, and the Dow Central Company purchased the Midland Chemical Company in 1900. Its main concern was the manufacture of bleaching powder, but the company continued to grow, based on Dow's steady development of chemical compounds that could be derived from brines. His search for further applications of chlorine led to the making of insecticides and an interest in horticulture. Meanwhile, his experience at the Homeopathic Hospital doubtless fired an interest in pharmaceuticals. One of the substances found in brine was magnesium chloride, and by 1918 magnesium metal was being produced on a small scale by electrolysis. An intensive study of its alloys followed, leading to the large-scale production of these important light-metal alloys, under the name of Dowmetals. Two other "firsts" achieved by the company were the synthetic indigo process and the production of the element iodine in the USA. The Dow company became one of the leading chemical manufacturers in the USA, and at the same time Dow played an active part in public life, serving on many public and education boards.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Society of Chemical Industry Perkin Medal 1930.
Bibliography
Dow was granted 65 patents for a wide range of chemical processes.
Further Reading
Obituary, 1930, Ind. Eng. Chem. (October).
"The Dow Chemical Company", 1925, Ind. Eng. Chem. (September)
LRD

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

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  • Dow,Herbert Henry — Dow, Herbert Henry. 1866 1930. American chemist and manufacturer who developed and patented more than 100 chemical processes and founded the Dow Chemical Company (1897). * * * …   Universalium

  • Herbert Henry Dow — (February 26, 1866 Belleville, Ontario, Canada – October 15, 1930) was a Canadian born, American chemical industrialist. He attended the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio, where he became a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.… …   Wikipedia

  • Herbert Henry Dow High School — A Legacy of Excellence Address 3901 North Saginaw Road …   Wikipedia

  • Herbert Henry Dow — (26 de febrero de 1866 – 16 de octubre de 1930) fue un químico industrial estadounidense (nacido en Canadá). Se educó en el Case Institute of Technology en Cleveland (Ohio) donde se convirtió en miembro de la asociación Phi Kappa Psi. Su éxito… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Herbert Henry Dow — (* 26. Februar 1866 in Belleville (Kanada); † 15. Oktober 1930 in Midland, USA) war ein US amerikanischer Chemiker und Industrieller. Er entwickelte unter anderem ein Verfahren zur Gewinnung von Brom aus wässriger Lösung (Sole) mittels… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dow, Herbert H. — ▪ American chemist in full  Herbert Henry Dow   born Feb. 26, 1866, Belleville, Ont., Can. died Oct. 15, 1930, Rochester, Minn., U.S.       pioneer in the American chemical industry and founder of the Dow Chemical Company.       Dow first became… …   Universalium

  • Herbert Henry Dow — n. Herbert Dow (1866 1930), American chemist and industrialist who established the Dow Chemical Company in 1897 …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Dow — /dow/, n. 1. Gerrard Du. /gay rddahrddt/. See Dou, Gerard. 2. Herbert Henry, 1866 1930, U.S. chemist, inventor, and industrialist. * * * (as used in expressions) Dow Chemical Co. Dow Jones average Dow Herbert Henry * * * …   Universalium

  • Herbert — /herr beuhrt/, n. 1. Frank, 1920 86, U.S. science fiction writer. 2. George, 1593 1633, English clergyman and poet. 3. Victor, 1859 1924, U.S. composer and orchestra conductor, born in Ireland. 4. a male given name: from Old English words meaning …   Universalium

  • henry — /hen ree/, n., pl. henries, henrys. Elect. the SI unit of inductance, formally defined to be the inductance of a closed circuit in which an electromotive force of one volt is produced when the electric current in the circuit varies uniformly at a …   Universalium

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