S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Rickard, Thomas (mining engineering)

Born: 29 August 1864, Pertusola, Italy.
Died: 15 August 1953, Place not known.

Thomas Rickard wrote The gold fields of the Transvaal, with an appendix on the adjacent coal and iron of Natal, which was published in London in 1884. It dealt with the geographical position, physical features, geology, topography, climate, and roads of the South African Republic (Transvaal), as well as the history of gold discovery there. The author was probably the same person as the mining engineer Thomas Arthur Rickard (1864-1953), although he would have been only 20 years old at the time of publication. Thomas Arthur Rickard was educated at Queen's College, Taunton (England), the University of London, and the Royal School of Mines, London. He became an Associate of the Royal School of Mines (ARSM) and was awarded the degree Doctor of Science (DSc). In 1885 he worked in Colorado, United States, as an assayer and mine surveyor, and from 1886 to 1889 as a mine manager. Thereafter he travelled in Australia and New Zealand (1891), worked as a consultant engineer in Denver, Colorado (1892), and as State Geologist of Colorado (1895-1901). He was the editor of the Engineering and Mining Journal (New York, 1903-1905), editor of the Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, (1905-1909 and again 1915-1922), and Editor of the Mining Magazine (London, 1909-1915). During 1925-1929 he undertook travels in Africa and the Mediterranean. Rickard wrote numerous publications relating mainly to mining engineering, especially in gold mining. Some of these were relevant to southern Africa, for example, Interviews with mining engineers (San Francisco, 1922), which included the South African careers of Charles Butters*, J. Hennen Jennings*, Thomas H. Leggett*, and Henry C. Perkins; a paper on "A journey to South Africa" (Engineering and Mining Journal, 1926) which actually dealt with his travels in central Africa; and two articles in Nature (1930) on "Early Rhodesian gold" and "Ancient metallurgy in Rhodesia". His other works included The stamp milling of gold ores (1897), The sampling and estimation of ore in a mine (1904), The copper mines of Lake Superior (1905), The economics of mining (1905), Pyrite smelting (1905), A guide to technical writing (1908), Concentration by flotation (1921), A history of American mining (1932), Man and metals (1932), Retrospect, an autobiography (1937, and many papers on related topics.

List of sources:
Hall, A.L. A bibliography of South African geology.... Pretoria: Geological Survey, Memoirs No. 18 (1922), 27 (1931), and 30 (1937).

Mendelssohn, S. South African bibliography. London, 1910.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London, Mansell, 1968-1980.

Royal Society of London. Catalogue of scientific papers [1800-1900]. London: Royal Society, 1867-1925.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.

Who was who, Vol. 5, 2nd ed. London: Adam & Black, 1964.

Compiled by: C. Plug