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George Alexander Dick

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George Alexander Dick (1837-1903), of Cannon St, London, specialist in alloys, chairman of the Delta Metal Co

1837 Born in Hesse, Darmstadt, Germany, the son of Johann Henrich Dick and his wife Catherine Leake

Introduced phosphor bronze into the UK

1874 Established the Phosphor Bronze Co.

1876 Married Ada Ursula Mary Pfeil and they had six children

1882 Became a naturalised citizen of the UK. Living at 8 The Avenue, Blackheath with two young daughters.

1888 Established Delta Metal Co, of which he was a director.

Invented a method of extruding high speed brass

1903 September 18th. Died in Kent

1903 Obituary[1]

We regret to have to announce the death of Mr. George Alexander Dick, the chairman and managing director of the Delta Metal Company.

Mr. Dick was born in Offenbach-on-the-Main, in Germany, in the year 1837. His father was of Scotch descent, and his mother was English, the former being a manufacturer in and mayor of the town of Offenbach.

Mr. Dick was first of all educated at Offenbach, and subsequently in Wiesbaden and Heidelberg. He accepted the offer of the Professorship of Chemistry at Antioch College, Ohio, U.S.A., in 1859, but was prevented from going to take it up, proceeding, instead, to the ironworks of Henrichs Huette, in Westphalia.

In 1862 he went to Spain to take charge of the blast furnaces, laboratory, &c., of what is now the Compania de Hornos Altos, at Bilbao.

Four years later he went to Paris, and remained in business with his brother, Mr. C. J. A. Dick, till the Franco-Prussian war, when be came to England. It was shortly after this that he became interested in phosphor bronze, and introduced the manufacture of this alloy in to England.

In 1874 he formed the Phosphor Bronze Company which he managed until 1881. Subsequently he devoted his attention to the improvement of brass alloys. After a number of patient experiments, he eventually succeeded in dissolving iron to saturation in molten spelter, thus producing an alloy of definite proportions. This alloy, when added to the various alloys of copper, forms the basis of the series of alloys known as Delta metal.

It was in 1888 that Mr. Dick formed the Delta Metal Company, and he also established works for the production of this material in Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Italy and Spain.

Perhaps the most important of Mr. Dick's. inventions was the extrus1on process to which we referred in an article on high-speed brass which we published on June 26th last. By this process, which is named "Dick-strudo", the heated alloys are squirted through dies of almost any conceivable shape by means of hydraulic pressure, which frequently exceeds 30 tons on the square inch, the result being the production of a substance which is homogeneous, strong, and ductile, and free from the defects frequently found in ordinary castings. The first experiments in this direction were made in 1892-03, but the process did not reach a commercially successful stage till 1894. Since that time it has been developed very considerably, and is now carried on at the works of the company in London and Birmingham.

Mr. Dick became chairman of the Delta Metal Company some three years ago on the retirement on account of ill-health, of Mr. Chas. Cammell, of Sheffield.

During the last few years Mr. Dick took a less active part in the business, and he died on the 18th inst. from heart failure following upon influenza.

1903 Obituary [2]

GEORGE ALEXANDER DICK died on September 18, 1903, at the age of sixty-six years.

He was born in Germany, and studied at Heidelberg University, where lie was a pupil of Bunsen. When only twenty-two years of age he was offered the Professorship of Chemistry at an American college, but declining this, he became chief chemist at the Heinrich's Hutte in Westphalia. Afterwards he was in charge of the laboratory and smelting department at the Altos Hornos Ironworks in Spain.

He left Spain to join his brother in establishing an engineering agency in Paris, but when the Franco-German war broke out, he crossed the Channel, and finally settled in England. In 1874 he took part in the formation of the Phosphor Bronze Company, Limited, and for seven years he was the responsible director of the business.

Between 1881 and 1888 he was engaged in experimenting and manufacturing anti-frictional metals, and in the latter year the Delta Metal Company, Limited, was formed to take over his inventions. Delta metal is known all over the world, and the company has had a consistently successful career. In recent years he perfected a system of working metals by extrusion instead of rolling or drawing, which was described in a paper read before the Iron and Steel Institute in 1896. He was a great traveller and an accomplished linguist.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1879.

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