Herbert Tristman Marks, mining engineer and assayer to the government of the South African Republic (Transvaal), wrote to the Secretary of State about the electric lighting of Pretoria in 1887. During the next two years he was active in Barberton. He was a Fellow of the Chemical Society (FCS) and an Associate of the Institute of Telegraph Engineers (AITE). In June 1888 he became a foundation member of the Barberton Scientific and Literary Society. Following the inaugural address of the president (C.J. Alford*), he delivered a paper at the society's second meeting on "Electricity, its production and effects". On 30 December the next year, in the last paper known to have been read before the society, he dealt with "The electrical transmission of power", discussing the advantages and uses of electricity, its generation and transmission, including transmission losses and the advantages of high voltage.
By 1907 Marks was the manager of the mining operation for the Bonmahon (or Bunmahon) Copper Mines Development Syndicate in Ireland. Later he returned to South Africa, for he leased the farms Symington No. 253 and Thankerton No. 268 in the Barberton district in 1918. He was first married to Louisa (Lilly) M. Altman, who died in 1889. In December 1895 he married Ruby Hannah Tennant in Johannesburg, but they were divorced in 1903. He was survived by his third wife, Henrietta (Hannah) Philips (born Fulda).