The Hancocks of Marlborough:Rubber, Art and the Industrial Revolution - A Family of Inventive Genius: Rubber, Art and the Industrial Revolution - A Family of Inventive Genius

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OUP Oxford, Sep 24, 2009 - Science - 296 pages
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This book began with the aim of telling the almost forgotten story of Thomas Hancock, the rubber developer who in his own day was acknowledged as one of the great scientific pioneers of the Industrial Revolution. But as research progressed, it was clear that Thomas and his five brothers, the Hancocks of Marlborough, together constituted a unique family which made a tremendous yet virtually unknown contribution to nineteenth-century science and art. Walter designed and ranthe first steam carriages to carry passengers on the common roads of England and so began the age of mechanized transport. Thomas founded the UK rubber industry when he discovered how to vulcanize rubber reliably; his company survived for some 120 years before being taken over. Charles was a well establishedpainter who was also instrumental in the manufacture of gutta percha-coated undersea cables, used by the electric telegraph to begin the global information highway. Other brothers, John, James and William all made significant contributions to the development of Victorian science and culture. This book tells the story of the family and the remarkable people in it, from the Great Fire of Marlborough in 1653 to the present day, using the Hancock family archive of many unpublished andpreviously unknown documents.

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About the author (2009)


John Loadman took his master's degree in organic chemistry from the University of Durham in 1987. He has since been an analytical chemist with the Natural Rubber Producers' Research Association, done conservation work with museums and art galleries on artworks containing rubber, and is an expert on early rubber manufacturing techniques and history of rubber development.

Francis James was educated at Marsh Court Preparatory school and Kings College Taunton, and is a qualified teacher. After some years as an antiquarian bookseller, he moved on to historic building conservation. He has written several books including The EMG Story, and is now the leading authority on the English handmade gramophone. His hobby, like his life, is saving the past and recording it for the future.

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