Obituary | Published:

Prof. H. E. Armstrong, F.R.S



HENRY EDWARD ARMSTRONG, whose death on July 13 in his ninetieth year we regret to announce, was born on May 6, 1848, in Lewisham, where he lived all his life. Of the influences during his early youth which inclined him to chemistry, little is known, but when he left Colfe's Grammar School at Lewisham his father, acting on the advice of an engineering friend, allowed him to become a student at the Royal College of Chemistry, Oxford Street, in the summer term of 1865, actually Hof-mann's last term before his departure for Berlin. Chemistry was the only subject taught, but the College was affiliated to the Royal School of Mines, then housed in Jermyn Street. A free lance, he attended such courses at the two institutions as he thought fit, including among them those given by Tyndall, Huxley and Ramsay, being also for some unexplained reason an almost regular attendant on Saturdays in the operating theatre of St. Bartholomew's Hospital. This roving quest came to an end when Frankland, who had followed Hofmann as professor and, towards the close of 1866, had been appointed with two other members a Royal Commission to inquire into the pollution of rivers in Great Britain, took him into the private laboratory, where together they developed the combustion in vacua method of water analysis, which played so important a part in the campaign for ensuring the safety of the domestic water supplies of the country.

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