|Dr. Richard Walter Hardacre
|Dr. Richard W. Hardacre, Colour Chemist-ca. 1940
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Hastings
Richard Walter Hardacre attended the Ermysteds school in Skipton. He graduated from the University of Leeds in 1926 with a
Masters/Doctorate degree, awarded for the thesis "Reduction Products of Hydroxyanthraquinones". He then began his career as a colour
chemist with ICI at Blackley, where he worked until 1948. He was awarded some 20 patents during his distinguished career and was an expert
in colour printing and dyeing (refer to list below). Hardacre was a Fellow of the Chemical Society of London.
He was fluent in both spoken and written German, learning the language for his university studies at a time when most textbooks on organic
chemistry were in German.
His involvement in wartime activities was most intriguing and was said to have included: 1. Formulating a skin colouring/camouflage for
troops in hot climate, 2. Printing maps to aid escape, on very thin material and easily hidden, for the use of aircrew shot down over Germany,
and 3. Providing a pencil and paper in parcels to prisoners of war, not for writing home, but for placing the pencil in water, whereby the 'lead'
of the pencil dissolved; soaking the paper in the resultant liquid produced an escape map from the chemical impregnated in the paper.
Hardacre travelled extensively for ICI on technical campaigns and visits to customers:
1) India 8 Nov 1938 to 12 Jan 1939. He visited various dyeworks and observed printing processes with full details of capacities etc. He
returned to the UK 9 May 1939.
2) Canada June/July 1946
3) Egypt 3-19 April 1948
4) Australia/New Zealand April to July 1948, travelling by BOAC Flying Boat, usually reserved for VIP's.
There is some evidence he was at odds with management over their taking credit for the efforts of one of his staff, and having seen Australia
in early 1948, it appeared that he was impressed, as he left ICI and emigrated to Melbourne later in the year, and took up a technical post but
not related to dyeing/printing.
He later joined Yorkshire Dyeware in Australia, where he was employed as Chief Chemist, from 1958 to retirement in 1971, developing
cleaning fluids and adhesives.
After his death, his daughter Margaret Hastings presented his sample prints to the University of Leeds International Textile Archive (ULITA),
each one with a fully descriptive label of the date, type of material, colourant etc.
List of patents in Great Britain and United States:
1) Process for colouring textiles. GB664646 (A) — 1952-01-09
2) Colouring of woollen textiles. GB635114 (A) — 1950-04-05
3) Process for production of pattern effects on nylon textile materials. GB626419 (A) — 1949-07-14
4) Improvements in screen or block printing of textiles. GB596281 (A) — 2006-02-09
5) Improvements in textile printing. GB581090 (A) — 1946-10-01
6) Improvements in textile printing. GB580205 (A) — 1946-08-30
7) Production of local delustered effects on nylon fabrics. GB574785 (A) — 1946-01-21
8) Production of pattern effects on acetate rayon. US2330707 (A) — 1943-09-28
9) Improvements in production of pattern effects on textile fabrics. GB544821 (A) — 1942-04-29
10) Improvements in production of pattern effects on textile fabrics. GB544820 (A) — 1942-04-29
11) Relustering cellulose acetate rayon. GB544146 (A) — 1942-03-30
12) Coloring acetate artificial silk. US2165257 (A) — 1939-07-11
13) Colouring acetate artificial silk. GB494237 (A) — 1938-10-21
14) Improvements in printing of textiles of cellulose esters, ethers. GB465136 (A) — 1937-05-03
15) Dyeing. US2115136 (A) — 1938-04-26
16) Printing process. US2069919 (A) — 1937-02-09
17)Textile printing process and composition. US1981027 (A) — 1934-11-20
18) Improvements in printing of textile materials. GB374950 (A) — 1932-06-20
ColorantsHistory.Org thanks Mr. Stan Walton for contributing the biographical information on Dr. Richard W. Hardacre.
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