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John Hargreaves (May 1834–4 April 1915) was a Chemist, Industrialist and prolific Inventor.
1834 Born in Preston
1859 Hargreaves moved to Widnes and worked for Gossage. Here he made his first two important discoveries; the recovery of chromates which were used in the bleaching of fats and oils, and a method of bleaching brown soap.
1868 November: Engineer of 108 Fylde Road, Preston.
1871 he set up a business with his brother, John, who had studied chemistry in Preston, as consulting chemists.
He developed a process for recovering phosphates from blast furnace slag. In association with Thomas Robinson, he invented a process for producing saltcake (sodium sulphate) from salt without the use of sulphuric acid.
1872 The Atlas Chemical Co was established in Widnes to use the Hargreaves-Robinson process.
Developed an electrolytic cell using an asbestos diaphragms with Thomas Bird.
1893 the General Electrolytic Patent Co was established to develop a process for the electrolysis of brine using the Hargreaves-Bird cell.
1895 Thomas Bird died
1899 the Electrolytic Alkali Co was set up at Middlewich, with Hargreaves as a director and his son Luke as general manager.
He advocated the use of chlorine rather than bleaching powder to disinfect sewage. He developed a 'thermo-motor' which anticipated the diesel engine and at the time of his death he was developing a new type of cattle food.
He also wrote articles for scientific encyclopaedias, gave lectures and travelled widely, becoming a good linguist.
1915 he died at his home in Widnes.