SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Electroplating factory. Historical artwork of the Elkingtons' electroplating factory in Birmingham, England. In 1840, George Richards Elkington (1801- 1865), with his cousin Henry, patented the new potassium cyanide electroplating method of John Wright. They are generally credited with inventing the first successful electroplating process. The Elkington cousins used gold and silver to plate a wide range of metal objects, from spectacle frames to pen nibs. Using their new technique, they came to dominate the plating industry. Electroplating uses an electric current to deposit metal ions from solution as a layer on the metal object to be plated.
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