GREGORY TOBIAS / CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GREGORY TOBIAS / CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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John Bennet Lawes (1814-1900), British agriculturalist and chemist, in a caricature published in the British weekly magazine Vanity Fair in 1882. Lawes discovered that phosphate fertilisers could be made more soluble in soil by treating them with acid. He patented his process and opened a highly successful factory in 1843. Lawes then, with Henry Gilbert, began the first agricultural research station at Rothamstead. They studied the effects of different fertilisers and animal feeds, producing over 100 scientific papers. Lawes was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (1854) and made a baronet (1882). Artwork by Theobold Chartran ('T').
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