Ransome, Frederick

Ransome, Frederick
b. 18 June 1818 Rushmere, Suffolk, England
d. 19 April 1893 London, England
English engineer and inventor of a type of artificial stone.
Frederick Ransome was the son of James Ransome (1782–1849) and grandson of Robert Ransome, founder of the well-known Ipswich firm of engineers. He did not become a partner in the family firm, but devoted his life to experiments to develop an artificial stone. These experiments were recorded in a paper which he presented to the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1848 and in a long series of over thirty patents dating from 1844. The material so formed was a sandstone, the particles of which were bonded together by a silicate of lime. It could be moulded into any required form while in its initial soft state, and when hard was suitable for surface-dressing or carving. It was used for many public buildings, but time proved it unsuitable for outside work. Ransome also used his artificial stone to make grinding wheels by incorporating emery powder in the mixture. These were found to be much superior to those made of natural stone. Another use of the artificial stone was in a porous form which could be used as a filter. In later years Ransome turned his attention to the manufacture of Portland cement and of a cheaper substitute incorporating blast-furnace slag. He also invented a rotary kiln for burning the cement, the first of these being built in 1887. It was 26 ft (7.9 m) long and 5 ft (1.5 m) in diameter; although reasonably successful, the development of such kilns of much greater length was carried out in America rather than England. Ransome was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1848 and served as an Associate of
1848, "On the manufacture of artificial stone with a silica base", Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers 7:57.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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