Thomas Turner (metallurgist)

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Thomas Turner, A.R.S.M

Thomas Turner Sc., A.R.S.M., F.R.I.C. (Birmingham, 1861–1951) was the first Professor of Metallurgy in Britain, at the University of Birmingham. The University was created in 1900 and the department founded in 1902. [1] He was instrumental in the early development of the sclerometer for testing hardness of metals. He retired in 1926. He was also a leading member of the Christadelphian church.

Birmingham City in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, and the most populous city in the English Midlands. With an estimated population of 1,137,100 as of 2017, Birmingham is the cultural, social, financial and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is the main centre of the West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population in 2011 of 2,440,986. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 3.7 million. Birmingham is frequently referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city".

University of Birmingham university in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom

The University of Birmingham is a public research university located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Queen's College, Birmingham and Mason Science College, making it the first English civic or 'red brick' university to receive its own royal charter. It is a founding member of both the Russell Group of British research universities and the international network of research universities, Universitas 21.

The Sclerometer, also known as the Turner-Sclerometer, is an instrument used by metallurgists, material scientists and mineralogists to measure the scratch hardness of materials. It was invented in year 1896 by Thomas Turner (1861–1951), the first Professor of metallurgy in Britain, at the University of Birmingham.


Turner was born in Ladywood, Birmingham in 1861. He married Christian Smith of Edinburgh in 1887 and had two sons and two daughters. He studied metallurgy at the Royal School of Mines in London, and won the annual De la Beche medal awarded in memory of the school's founder. Turner was demonstrator at Mason Science College from 1883, then 1887 lecturer in metallurgy, a new science that "was to develop greatly under his guidance during the next forty years." [2] From 1894-1902 he was Director of Technical Instruction to Staffordshire County Council, but in 1902 was chosen as the first Professor of Metallurgy in the newly established University of Birmingham. He retired in 1926 but continued to publish and lecture.

Ladywood inner-city district in Central Birmingham, England

Ladywood is an inner-city district next to central Birmingham. In June 2004, Birmingham City Council conducted a citywide "Ward Boundary Revision" to round-up the thirty-nine Birmingham wards to forty. As a result of this, Ladywood Ward's boundaries were expanded to include the neighbouring areas of Hockley, Lee Bank and Birmingham city centre.

Royal School of Mines college

The Royal School of Mines comprises the departments of Earth Science and Engineering, Materials and Bioengineering at Imperial College London. The Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics and parts of the London Centre for Nanotechnology are also housed within the RSM. The school, as such, no longer exists, though the Edwardian building by Sir Aston Webb is viewed as a classic of academic architecture, and still carries its name, as do the relevant student unions.

Henry De la Beche English geologist and palaeontologist

Sir Henry Thomas De la Beche KCB, FRS was an English geologist and palaeontologist, the first director of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, who helped pioneer early geological survey methods. He was the first President of the Palaeontographical Society.

His most notable work was seminal research in the influence of silicon in cast iron. He was a founder member of, and later president of the Institute of Metals, vice president of the Iron and Steel Institute, and on the Advisory Committee of the Imperial Institute.

Silicon Chemical element with atomic number 14

Silicon is a chemical element with symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is a hard and brittle crystalline solid with a blue-grey metallic lustre; and it is a tetravalent metalloid and semiconductor. It is a member of group 14 in the periodic table: carbon is above it; and germanium, tin, and lead are below it. It is relatively unreactive. Because of its high chemical affinity for oxygen, it was not until 1823 that Jöns Jakob Berzelius was first able to prepare it and characterize it in pure form. Its melting and boiling points of 1414 °C and 3265 °C respectively are the second-highest among all the metalloids and nonmetals, being only surpassed by boron. Silicon is the eighth most common element in the universe by mass, but very rarely occurs as the pure element in the Earth's crust. It is most widely distributed in dusts, sands, planetoids, and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide (silica) or silicates. More than 90% of the Earth's crust is composed of silicate minerals, making silicon the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust after oxygen.

Cast iron iron or a ferrous alloy which has been liquefied then poured into a mould to solidify

Cast iron is a group of iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content greater than 2%. Its usefulness derives from its relatively low melting temperature. The alloy constituents affect its colour when fractured: white cast iron has carbide impurities which allow cracks to pass straight through, grey cast iron has graphite flakes which deflect a passing crack and initiate countless new cracks as the material breaks, and ductile cast iron has spherical graphite "nodules" which stop the crack from further progressing.

The Iron and Steel Institute was an English association organized by the iron trade of the north of England. Its object was the discussion of practical and scientific questions connected with the manufacture of iron and steel.

Turner was active in the Christadelphian movement and for many years was first assistant editor, with Joseph Hadley, then editor of the Fraternal Visitor magazine of the Suffolk Street ecclesia. [3] In this function he was also involved in support of the Gemeinde in Germany, corresponding with Albert Maier and Ludwig von Gerdtell. As a hymn writer he contributed to his church's hymnal. [4]

Albert Maier was the founder of the German Christadelphians.

Friedrich Siegfried Heinrich Ludwig von Gerdtell was a German theologian associated with the Disciples of Christ movement.


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  1. University of Birmingham, The School of Metallurgy and Materials: 'Our history'
  2. Brand, J. C. D.; Hanson, D. (1952). "Obituary notices: John Charles James, 1920–1952; Thomas Turner, 1861–1951". J. Chem. Soc. (0): 5055–5056. doi:10.1039/JR9520005055 . Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  3. Canada: an encyclopedia of the country John Castell Hopkins - 1898 "The present organ of these churches is The Christadelphian, edited by Joseph J. Hadley and Thomas Turner, of Birmingham, England. Another paper published in Glasgow along the same lines is called The Investigator." However, it should be noted that the statement in this reference is incorrect. The Christadelphian magazine was never edited by Hadley or Turner. In this year it passed from Robert Roberts, its founder, to C. C. Walker, his designated successor in the chair, on the death of Roberts in San Francisco.
  4. The Hymn Vol.48 Hymn Society of America - 1997 "The importance of these and other teachings through the Christadelphian Hymn Book was underscored thoroughly by Roberts in his Prefaces ... Charles Joseph Caldicott, John J. Hadley, John Hawkins, Herbert H. Horsman, and Thomas Turner; ..."