A letter written 105 years ago

This is a letter from Prof Watson Smith to Sir Henry Enfield Roscoe, FRS, his teacher at Owens College, Manchester. For a background of Prof Smith, please see previous blog entry “Black Friday with Prof Smith”. The letter was dated 21 April 1907, 25 years after the launch of the Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry, edited by Prof Smith. In summary, Prof Smith reported that the Journal had made good progress in the past years and he was thankful for Sir Roscoe’s teaching.

From their portraits, hand-writing, education, work, and how others described them, we are not only gathering facts but also having a feel about their personalities. I am no historian but I find the exercise of tracing the history of past UCL people fascinating.

How do you want others to see you hundreds of years later? This is a truly enlightening question. For me, I am working hard to become an academic, hoping someday to contribute to society through my professional field, in a manner worthy of my training.

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