Reason, Richard Edmund

Reason, Richard Edmund
b. 21 December 1903 Exeter, Devon, England
d. 20 March 1987 Great Bowden, Leicestershire, England
English metrologist who developed instruments for measuring machined-surface roughness.
Richard Edmund Reason was educated at Tonbridge School and the Royal College of Science (Imperial College), where he studied under Professor A.F.C.Pollard, Professor of Technical Optics. After graduating in 1925 he joined Taylor, Taylor and Hobson Ltd, Leicester, manufacturers of optical, electrical and scientific instruments, and remained with that firm throughout his career. One of his first contributions was in the development, with E.F.Fincham, of the Fincham Coincidence Optometer. At this time the firm, under William Taylor, was mainly concerned with optical instruments and lens manufacture, but in the 1930s Reason was also engaged in developing means for measuring the roughness of machined surfaces. The need for establishing standards and methods of measurement of surface finish was called for when the subcontracting of aero-engine components became necessary during the Second World War. This led to the development by Reason of an instrument in which a stylus was moved across the surface and the profile recorded electronically. This was called the Talysurf and was first produced in 1941. Further development followed, and from 1947 Reason tackled the problem of measuring roundness, producing the first Talyrond machine in 1949. The technology developed for these instruments was used in the production of others such as the Talymin Comparator and the Talyvel electronic level. Reason was also associated with the development of optical projection systems to measure the profile of parts such as gear teeth, screw threads and turbine blades. He retired in 1968 but continued as a consultant to the company. He served for many years on committees of the British Standards Institution on surface metrology and was a representative of Britain at the International Standards Organization.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
OBE 1967. FRS 1971. Honorary DSc University of Birmingham 1969. Honorary DSc Leicester University 1971.
Further Reading
D.J.Whitehouse, 1990, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 36, London, pp. 437–62 (an illustrated obituary notice listing Reason's eighty-nine British patents, published between 1930 and 1972, and his twenty-one publications, dating from 1937 to 1966).
K.J.Hume, 1980, A History of Engineering Metrology, London, 113–21 (contains a shorter account of Reason's work).

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

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