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Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine

PERCY, Professor John (1817-1889)


Reference code(s): GB 0098 B/PERCY

Held at: Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine

Title: PERCY, Professor John (1817-1889)

Date(s): Created 1853-1860

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 2 files

Name of creator(s): Percy | John | 1817-1889 | metallurgist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, Nottingham, 1817; educated at private school, Southampton; studied medicine in Paris, 1834-1836, and Edinburgh University, graduated, 1838; physician, Queen's Hospital, Birmingham, 1839; studied metallurgy at local metallurgical works; Fellow of the Royal Society, 1847; invented process for extracting silver; lecturer in metallurgy, later Professor, Government School of Mines and Science Applied to the Arts (later Royal School of Mines), 1851-1879; member, Council of the Royal Society, 1857-1859; lecturer in metallurgy, Woolwich, [1864]-1889; superintendent of ventilation for the Houses of Parliament, 1865; member, Secretary for War's commissions on the application of iron for defensive purposes, 1861, 'Gibraltar' shields, 1867; member, royal commissions on coal, 1871, spontaneous combustion of coal in ships, 1875; Bessemer medal of the Iron and Steel Institute, 1876; President, Iron and Steel Institute, 1885-1886; Millar prize of the Institute of Civil Engineers, 1887; Albert medal of the Society of Arts, 1889; died, 1889.
Publications: include: An experimental inquiry concerning the presence of alcohol in the ventricles of the brain after poisoning by that liquid (Hamilton, Adams & Co, London, 1839); The Metallurgical Treatment and assaying of gold ores (1853); Metallurgy. The art of extracting metals from their ores, and adapting them to various purposes of manufacture 5 vol (London, 1861-1880); The Manufacture of Russian Sheet-Iron (London, 1871); Address to the Iron and Steel Institute May 12, 1886 (Ballantyne, Hanson & Co, Edinburgh, [1886]).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Professor John Percy, comprising letters to Richard Smith, of the Metallurgy Laboratories, Royal School of Mines, 1853-1860, relating to work at the laboratories; notes and correspondence relating to experiments on glass, 1840-[1888].


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

2 files

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to consult the Archives should first contact the College Archivist, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, for an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of the Archivist. Photocopies are supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

A catalogue is available at the College Archives.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Accumulated by Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine during the course of business.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Records of the Royal School of Mines (D), held at Imperial College.

Correspondence and papers, 1830-1890, held at the Science Museum Library; lecture notes, 1863-1864, held at the British Library, Manuscript Collections (reference: Add MS 31199); correspondence with Sir Henry Cole, 1862-73, held at the Victoria & Albert Museum, National Art Library (reference: p9); letters to Sir George Stokes, 1858-1886, held at Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives (reference: Add 7342, 7656).

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 1959-1960, vol XV); British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97; National Register of Archives. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: December 2000

Experiments | Research work
Glass | Building materials
University laboratories | Academic buildings | Educational buildings

Personal names
Percy | John | 1817-1889 | metallurgist
Smith | Richard | fl 1845-1891 | assayer and metallurgist

Corporate names
Royal School of Mines