Sir Lowthian Bell, 1st Baronet

Sir (Isaac) Lowthian Bell, 1st Baronet FRS (18 February 1816 – 20 December 1904), was a Victorian ironmaster and Liberal Party politician from Washington, Co. Durham.

He was the son of Thomas Bell and his wife Katherine Lowthian.

In 1854 he built Washington Hall, now called Dame Margaret's Hall. At Washington he established a process for the manufacture of an oxychloride of lead, and built Britain's first plant for aluminium production by the Deville sodium process. With his brothers, he established the major iron works at Port Clarence on the north bank of the river Tees. Throughout his life he studied and published learned works on the chemical basis of iron and steel manufacture.

He was twice Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne and Member of Parliament for North Durham from February to June 1874, and for Hartlepool from 1875 to 1880.

In 1895 he was awarded the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts, 'in recognition of the services he has rendered to Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, by his metallurgical researches and the resulting development of the iron and steel industries'.

A founder of the Iron and Steel Institute, he was its president from 1873 to 1875, and in 1874 became the first recipient of the gold medal instituted by Sir Henry Bessemer. He was president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1884.

On 20 July 1842 he married Margaret Pattinson, daughter of Hugh Lee Pattinson (inventor of the Pattinson process for the separation of silver from lead) and Phebe Walton. Their children were Mary Katherine Bell, who married Edward Stanley, 4th Baron Stanley of Alderley, Sir Thomas Hugh Bell, 2nd Baronet and five others.

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