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Dr Oswald John Silberrad in his library, Loughton, Essex, 1947.

Silberrad (1878-1960) the industrial consulting chemist. The library was an annex to his home. In 1901 he was appointed chemist to the newly-formed Explosives Committee of the War Office at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. An establishment which needed to solve the problems relating to certain weaknesses in British munitions, revealed by failures during the Boer war, in particular the non-detonation of high explosive shells. After the war Silberrad 'gradually cut down his consulting practice withdrawing himself more and more to his laboratory where he occupied himself on problems of a more purely scientific character'.

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Credit © Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library -- All rights reserved.
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