Elkington, George Richard

SUBJECT AREA: Metallurgy
[br]
b. 17 October 1801 Birmingham England
d. 22 September 1865 Pool Park, Denbighshire, England
[br]
English pioneer in electroplating.
[br]
He was apprenticed to his uncles, makers of metalware, in 1815 and showed such aptitude for business that he was taken into partnership. On their deaths, Elkington assumed sole ownership of the business. In conjunction with his cousin Henry (1810–52), by unrelenting enterprise, he established an industry for electroplating and electrogilding. Up until c.1840, silver-plated goods were produced by rolling or soldering thin sheets of silver to a base metal, such as copper. Back in 1801, the English chemist William Wollaston had deposited one metal upon another by means of an electric current generated from a voltaic pile or battery. In the 1830s, certain inventors, such as Bessemer used this result to produce plated articles and these efforts in turn induced the Elkingtons to apply the method in their trade. In 1836 and 1837 they took out patents for "mercurial gilding", and one patent of 1838 refers to a separate electric current. In 1840 they bought from John Wright, a Birmingham surgeon, his discovery of what proved to be the best electroplating solution: namely, solutions of cyanides of gold and silver in potassium cyanide. They also purchased rights to use the electric machine invented by J.S. Woolrich. Armed with these techniques, the Elkingtons produced in their large new works in Newhall Street a wide range of gold-and silver-plated decorative and artistic ware. Henry was particularly active on the artistic side of the business, as was their employee Alexander Parkes. For some twenty-five years, Britain enjoyed a virtual monopoly of this kind of ware, due largely to the enterprise of the Elkingtons, although by the end of the century rising tariffs had closed many foreign markets and the lead had passed to Germany. George spent all his working life in Birmingham, taking some part in the public life of the city. He was a governor of King Edward's Grammar School and a borough magistrate. He was also a caring employer, setting up houses and schools for his workers.
[br]
Bibliography
1864, Journal of the Royal Society for Arts (29 January).
LRD

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

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Metallurgy — See also: INDEX BY SUBJECT AREA [br] Adamson, Daniel Agricola, Georgius Alleyne, Sir John Gay Newton Bedson, George Bell, Sir Isaac Lowthian Bessemer, Sir Henry Biringuccio, Vanoccio Vincenzio Agustino Luca …   Biographical history of technology

  • 2000 New Year Honours — The insignia of the Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George: Andrew Wood was awarded the Grand Cross in this Honours list. The New Year Honours 2000 for the United Kingdom were announced on 31 December 1999, to celebrate the year… …   Wikipedia

  • argenture — [ arʒɑ̃tyr ] n. f. • 1642; « argent massif » XIVe; de argenter 1 ♦ Action d argenter (on dit aussiargentagen. m., argentationn. f.). Art de l argenteur …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Contenu:Australie — Projet:Australie/Liste des articles Liste mise à jour régulièrement par MyBot (d · c · b) à partir des articles liés au bandeau {{Portail Australie}} Modifications récentes des articles ayant le bandeau de ce portail… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Science and invention in Birmingham — Birmingham is the second largest city in the United Kingdom. It is one of the country s principal industrial centres and has an impressive history of industrial and scientific innovation.16th century1547: Although no record is kept to indicate… …   Wikipedia

  • Liste der Biografien/El — Biografien: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jewellery Quarter — infobox UK place country = England latitude= 52.489 longitude= 1.910 official name= Jewellery Quarter map type= West Midlands population = 3,000 approx. population density= area total km2= 1.07 metropolitan borough= City of Birmingham… …   Wikipedia

  • Jack William Nicklaus — Jack Nicklaus Personalia Geburtsdatum 21. Januar 1940 Geburtsort Columbus, Ohio Größe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nicklaus — Jack Nicklaus Personalia Geburtsdatum 21. Januar 1940 Geburtsort Columbus, Ohio Größe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Eugenio Saraceni — Gene Sarazen Personalia Voller Name Eugenio Saraceni Geburtsdatum 27. Februar 1902 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.