THORPE, Thomas Edward. 14623



Autograph Letter Signed, to “Dear Clough”, about old Manchester friends, Randolph Caldecott and Thomas Armstrong, looking back to “the dear old place in that dear old slum”. 2½ pages 7 x 4½ inches, some light toning, in good condition. Science and Art Department, South Kensington, 19 March 1886. Sir Thomas Edward Thorpe (1845-1925), chemist. He contributed to the understanding of the relationship between substances’ molecular weights and their specific gravities, and his work on phosphorus compounds led to a better understanding of phosphorus trioxide and the prevention of the illnesses it caused to workers in the match industry. Thorpe’s work on the atomic weights of metals led to the award of a Royal Medal in 1889, and in 1902 Thorpe was elected member of the newly created International Atomic Weights Commission. He also took part in four eclipse expeditions, and a magnetic survey of the British Isles. Thorpe wrote a number of books, including the textbooks Inorganic Chemistry (1873), Dictionary of Applied Chemistry (1890) and a History of Chemistry (1909). Outside chemistry, his great interest was yachting,[2] and he wrote two books on this subject; A Yachtsman’s Guide to the Dutch Waterways (1905) and The Seine from Havre to Paris (1913).