David Forbes

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    AT the comparatively early age of forty-eight the busy life of Mr. David Forbes has been brought to a close. Like his distinguished brother Edward, he has been unexpectedly cut off before much of the immense mass of knowledge he had acquired has been put in a form to be of use to others. He was always looking forward to a time of less active occupation, when he might devote his principal attention to putting on record the results of his many years' investigations. What there may be in the piles of manuscript he has left that will be available for use, there has not yet been time to ascertain. For the last five years the most important papers he wrote were the half-yearly reports for the Iron and Steel Institute, but among his earlier papers there will be recollected “The Relation of Silurian and Metamorphic Rocks in the South of Norway,” and “The Geology of Bolivia and South Peru.” Alluding to his connection with the Iron and Steel Institute, the organ of that society has just written:—“In his capacity of Foreign Secretary he has, almost from the foundation of the institute, rendered most essential service, and has in no inconsiderable degree contributed to that rapid prosperity which has characterised its operations. His exhaustive reports on the foreign iron and steel industries which appeared in the Journal were most valuable, as they embraced everything going on in connection with the iron trade all over the world. The wonderful linguistic accomplishments of Mr. Forbes enabled him to deal easily with the publications of all countries where iron and steel is made. His name was so well known abroad that the leading people connected with the technological features of ironmaking most readily furnished full details of what was going on in each country; and through his influence mainly the institute speedily assumed a recognised position abroad."

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    David Forbes . Nature 15, 139 (1876) doi:10.1038/015139a0

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