Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 288 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GEORGE RICHARDS ELKINGTON (1801-1865), founder of the electroplating industry in England, was born in Birmingham on the 17th of October 18o1, the son of a spectacle manufacturer. Apprenticed to his uncles, silver platers in Birmingham, he became, on their death, sole proprietor of the business, but subsequently took his cousin, Henry Elkington, into partnership. The science of electrometallurgy was then in its infancy, but the Elkingtons were quick to recognize its possibilities. They had already taken out certain patents for the application of electricity to metals when, in 1840, John Wright, a Birmingham surgeon, discovered the valuable properties of a solution of cyanide of silver in cyanide of potassium for electroplating purposes. The Elkingtons purchased and patented Wright's process, subsequently acquiring the rights of other processes and improvements. Large new works for electroplating and electrogilding were opened in Birmingham in 1841, and in the following year Josiah Mason became a partner in the firm. George Richards Elkington died on the 22nd of September 1865, and Henry Elkington on the 26th of October 1852.
End of Article: GEORGE RICHARDS ELKINGTON (1801-1865)

Additional information and Comments

this is not a comment but a question so I may not get an answer. I recently purchased a silver mechanical pencil with the letters GRE embossed, the only GRE I could come up with is George Richards Elkington, who is famous as the pioneer of electroplating but there is no mention of him being a pencil maker, the pencil is obviously from the 1860s, anyone out there that could kindly shed any light on this, Kind Regards Les
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