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Henry Crookes

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Henry Crookes (c1859-1915)

1916 Obituary [1]

HENRY CROOKES died on the 28th August, 1915, in his fifty-seventh year.

He was the eldest son of Sir William Crookes, O.M., F.R.S.

From 1878 he was for two years in Paris studying chemistry, first at large chemical works at Clichy-la-Carenne, and later at the Ecole de Medicine under the late Professor Wurtz. Returning to London he entered the Royal College of Science and took the degree of Associate.

From 1887 to 1890 he filled appointments as chemist, assayer, and manager to various mines in South Africa, and returned to England after three years in the Transvaal and Bechuanaland.

For 14 years he was chief assistant in the Laboratories of the London Water Companies, and afterwards practised as an analyst and metallurgist in conjunction with Sir William Crookes and Sir James Dewar, devoting most of his time to bacteriology. In this branch of his work he had great experience, being one of the first to make it a special study.

He also made researches on the action of radium on bacteria, and had a most interesting exhibit at the Royal Society in 1904. Various cultures of bacteria were exposed to the action of 10 milligrams of radium through a mica screen at about 1 inch distance from the surface of the plate. After having been subjected to the action of the radium emanations, electrons in these case, the plates were incubated. In every case it was found that the microbes had been killed where they had been exposed to the radium, so that on incubation a bare space was left free from bacterial growth opposite the point where the radium had been placed. Later he used bacillus phosphorescens for his experiments on the action of different metals on bacteria, and once more exhibited some interesting results at the Royal Society in 1911. It was his research in this direction that led him to the study of metallic and non-metallic colloids, which eventually developed into the products known as "Crookes Collosols."

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1883 and a Member in 1886.

He married in 1883 Nina, the second daughter of the late Mr. C. E. P. D. Spagnoletti, a Past President of the Institution.

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