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Daniel Rankin Steuart (1848-1925)



Photographs of Steuart in 1884 and 1908


Extract from Bygone Days, Steuart's book

When I was offered the post of Assistant Chemist at Oakbank, I horrified [William] Dittmar, [Professor of Chemistry at the Andersonian University, Glasgow] by accepting it. I remained there over a year, becoming head Chemist before I left. I learned much from Mr George Beilby at Oakbank; he told me I had been the best and most useful assistant of all he had tried. Oakbank was within a mile of Selms, and I was able to lodge with my mother and brothers. Then I was offered the post at Broxburn, and went as chief Chemist to the Broxburn Oil Company in 1st January 1878.

Daniel Rankin Steuart, Bygone Days, 1936, p73


Entry from Steuart's diary, extracted from Bygone Days, Steuart's book

December 31, 1919. D.R.S. left the Laboratory and ceased to be Chemist to the Broxburn Oil Co., Ltd.

Daniel Rankin Steuart, Bygone Days, 1936, p85



Noted Chemist's Death

The death has occurred at 20 Hillview, Blackhall, Edinburgh, of Mr Daniel Rankin Steuart, F.R.S.E., F.I.C., F.C.S., late chief chemist of the Broxburn Oil Company (Ltd.) Mr Steuart was well known in scientific circles in the East of Scotland. He was born at Bogside, Lanarkshire, 77 years ago. In early life he studied chemistry in Edinburgh under Professor Crum Brown, and later continued his studies in Glasgow. He also spent six months studying at Munich. For a few years he worked under the late Sir George Beilby as oil-works chemist at Oakbank, and in 1877 was appointed chief chemist of the newly started Broxburn Oil Company, in which capacity he remained for over 40 years, taking a prominent part in the development of the works at Broxburn. In addition to being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry, Mr Steuart was a member of the Chemical Societies of both Great Britain and America. He did much original work in shale oils, and contributed papers to many learned societies, articles to standard chemical dictionaries, and an important memoir for the Geological Survey. He has been bracketed with Redwood and Markovnikoff as one of the world's greatest petroleum technologists.

Some thirty years ago Mr Steuart made strenuous but unavailing efforts to have the laws altered to prohibit the use of dangerous lamp oils, and lived to see the oils made safe through the extraction of the dangerous lighter fractions which are now required for motor spirit. A member of the Church, he devoted himself throughout his life to many kinds of social life, and contributed generously to charitable institutions. He was specially interested in work among children. In the course of his life he accumulated a library of books. Five years ago he retired to Blackhall in failing health. In 1883 Mr Steuart married. He is survived by a family of three sons and two daughters, his youngest son having died of wounds in 1920.

The Scotsman, Tuesday 4th August 1925


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