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British Industrial History

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George Bernhard Brook

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George Bernhard Brook (c1873-1950), chief chemist of the British Aluminium Co

Born the son of Heber Alfred Brook

1950 Obituary [1]

The death of Mr. George Bernard Brook occurred on 15 October 1950 at his home in Ballow, Derbyshire, 11 days after the celebration of his golden wedding. He was 77 years of age.

Mr. Brook was a son of the late Mr. Heber Alfred Brook of Messrs. Brook Bros., platers, Cambridge Street, Sheffield, and was educated at The Royal Grammar School, Sheffield.

His first post after leaving school was an apprenticeship under the Sheffield City Analyst. Mr. Brook then took up a course of training in electrometallurgy at the Birmingham Central Technical College, travelling to Birmingham from Sheffield for each class - surely a very fine example for other students.

He subsequently founded (in 1910) the Department of Non-Ferrous Metallurgy in the Applied Science Department at Sheffield University, St. George's Square, where he remained as senior lecturer until 1920.

During the first World War he was appointed metallurgist to the Small Arms Division of the Ministry of Munitions, in which capacity he assisted in the production of millions of cupro-nickel bullet cases each week.

In 1920 Mr. Brook joined The British Aluminium Co., Ltd., as Chief Chemist, with headquarters in Kinlochleven, Argyllshire. For the next 19 years he undertook much research work, covering all phases of aluminium production, until his retirement in 1939.

At the outbreak of the last war he again took up active metallurgical work at a Royal Ordnance Factory near Crewe, investigating many metallurgical problems.

Mr. Brook's last years were spent in only semi-retirement, since even up to the time of his death he continued to act as Consultant to Messrs. D. F. Taylor and Co., Ltd., Birmingham.

He had had many honours conferred on him during an active and varied career : he was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, and a Fellow of the. Institution of Metallurgists. Mr. Brook was an active member of the Institute, which he joined in 1910, and a regular attendant at its functions. His failing health confined him to his hotel, however, during the recent meeting at Bournemouth. He will be very greatly missed among his many friends; as a father and a scientist his life was an inspiration to all who knew him. Mr. and Mrs. Brook had four sons, three of whom are still living. H. H. SYMONDS.

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