Dr Oswald John Silberrad in his laboratory, Loughton, Essex, 1947.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Silberrad (1878-1960) the industrial consulting chemist in Silberrad Research Laboratories. In 1901 he was appointed chemist to the newly-formed Explosives Committee of the War Office at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. An establishment which needed to solve the problems relating to certain weaknesses in British munitions, revealed by failures during the Boer war, in particular the non-detonation of high explosive shells. After the war Silberrad 'gradually cut down his consulting practice withdrawing himself more and more to his laboratory where he occupied himself on problems of a more purely scientific character'