Inventor of the Steel Making Process
Felsted School 1862-1867
Best known for being a renowned chemist, Gilchrist’s fame was achieved in partnership with his cousin Sidney Gilchrist Thomas, for inventing the basic process of making steel from phosphorus iron. This revolutionised the manufacture of affordable steel. Today we have cranes that can lift the Eiffel Tower, vessels of 500,000 tonnes and buildings soar 800 metres into the sky, all as a result of his pioneering work in the steel making process.
He became Vice-President of the Iron and Steel Institute and, emulating OFs Wallis and Barrow, became a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was awarded the Chevalier, Legion d'Honneur and has a chemistry laboratory named after him at Felsted.