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British Industrial History

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Frank William Harbord

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Frank William Harbord (1860-1942) C.B.E., F.I.C., A.R.S.M., F.C.S., Metallurgist of Riley, Harbord and Law

1922 of Edward Riley and Harbord

1943 Obituary [1]

Mr. Frank William Harbord, an Original Member of the Institute, died on December 27, 1942, at the age of 82.

Born near Norwich, Mr. Harbord was educated privately and at St. Olive's Grammar School. From there he went to the Royal School of Mines to study under Frankland and Roberts-Austen, and in the final examination for the Associateship he won the Bessemer Medal.

He graduated in 1882 and, after working for a short time under Dr. J. E. Stead of Middlesbrough, went to the Midlands, where he worked for the next 10 years, first as metallurgical chemist at the works of Sir Alfred Hickman and the South Staffordshire Steel Ingot Company, Ltd., and then as manager of the steelworks of Messrs. Hatton, Sons and Company, Bilston.

In 1892 Mr. Harbord was appointed Chief Chemist to the Government of India and was metallurgist at the Royal Indian Engineering College, Coopers Hill, from 1892 to 1905. In the latter year he went into private practice with the late Edward Riley, founding the well-known and successful consulting firm, later to become Messrs. Riley, Harbord, and Law, of which he remained senior partner till the time of his death.

In 1909 Mr. Harbord investigated the commercial possibilities of manufacturing iron and steel in South Africa, on behalf of the Government of Transvaal. During the war of 1914-1918, he was a member of the Ordnance Committee and acted as Honorary Advisor in Metallurgy to the Ministry of Munitions; for his services he was awarded the C.B.E. in 1918 and was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour.

Mr. Harbord wrote a number of important papers on steel and, with Mr. J. W. Hall, wrote "The Metallurgy of Steel" - still one of the standard textbooks on the subject. A member of numerous scientific societies besides the Institute of Metals, Mr. Harbord was a Past-President of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, a Member of Council of the Institute of Chemistry for two three-year periods, and a member of the Iron and Steel Industrial Research Council.

He was President of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1927-28, that Institute having already conferred upon him in 1916 its highest honour - the Bessemer Gold Medal.

1943 Obituary [2]

THE iron and steel industry has lost a metallurgist of outstanding merit by the death on Sunday last, December 27th, of William Frank Harbord.

Mr. Harbord, who was eighty-two years of age, was senior partner in the firm of Riley, Harbord and Law, consulting metallurgists and chemists, of Westminster, and he had given conspicuous service, both to the industry and the Government over a period of half a century. He died at his home, "Englewick," Englefield Green, Surrey.

Frank Harbord was born in Norwich in 1860, and was educated privately and at the Royal School of Mines. For a period of about ten years he was engaged in the manufacture of iron and steel in the Midlands.

In 1892 he was appointed consulting metallurgist to the Indian Government at the Royal Engineering College at Cooper's Hill....

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