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John Godfrey Hochstaetter Godfrey

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John Godfrey Hochstaetter Godfrey (1841-1881)

1881 Obituary [1]

MR. JOHN GODFREY HOCHSTAETTER GODFREY, son of Mr. Felix Hochstaetter, was born at Darmstadt on the 30th of April, 1841.

After receiving a thoroughly sound education, in 1860 he entered as a pupil the celebrated mining academy at Freiberg, where he remained two years, and gained a certificate as a metallurgical engineer.

He came to London in 1862, and worked for two years as an assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Percy, F.R.S., Hon. M. Inst. C.E., making numerous experiments, and many of the results he obtained are fully recorded in Dr. Percy’s treatise on the “Metallurgy of Iron and Steel,” published in 1864.

He was afterwards engaged, for six years (1863-69), in copper mining and smelting in Cuba, and subsequently examined and reported on various mining properties in the Lake Superior district, U.S.A.

He then spent some time in London, and, in 1870, undertook several investigations, the particulars of which are given in Dr. Percy’s treatise on the “Metallurgy of Gold and Silver,” published in 1880, and which were acknowledged in the preface to that work in the following terms: "I must not omit to state, here, how much I feel indebted to my excellent friend, Mr. J. G. Hochstaetter Godfrey, for his. gratuitous, laborious, and persevering co-operation throughout a large part of this volume.”

In 1871, he was appointed Mining Engineer-in-Chief to the Japanese Government, and had hoped to open out and develop some of the coal, iron, copper, gold, and silver mines with which that empire abounds; but he did not succeed in accomplishing so much as he desired. During his residence in Japan he collected, and presented to the Museum of Practical Geology, an extensive series of Japanese alloys of silver and copper, and a native model of the interior of a Japanese mine ; and he obtained information a8 to the process of liquating argentiferous copper, and as to silver smelting in Japan, which will be found described in Dr. Percy’s treatise last referred to.

Having become a naturalised Englishman, he settled in London as a professional mining engineer and metallurgist, and in the pursuit of his practice went to India, where he died suddenly, at Calicut, on the 16th of October, 1880. He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 5th of February, 1878.

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