S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Bryant, Mr Edward Godfrey (plant collection, economic geology)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Edward G. Bryant, educator, businessman and scientist, was awarded the degrees Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) by the University of London, and was a Fellow of the (British) Chemical Society. He was initially an educator in the Cape Colony, where he compiled Ten sets of Cape Civil Service papers 1897-1902, with answers to arithmetic (Cape Town, 1903, 192p). By 1906 he was employed at the Grey Institute, a high school in Port Elizabeth. In that year he and John Farquhar* presented a large collection of shells from raised beaches near Port Elizabeth to the Albany Museum, Grahamstown.

In 1912, when he was still at the Grey Institute, Bryant read a paper on "Electrolysis of water with carbon electrodes" at the annual congress of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science in Port Elizabeth, though he was not a member. The paper was published in the association's Report (1912, pp. 148-151). At this time he also published two articles dealing with the belief among South Africans that exposure of fish to moonlight causes the meat to become poisonous (Nature, 1912; Scientific American, 1913). Subsequently he moved to Johannesburg, where he ran a mining and engineering business. During 1918-1919 he made an extensive collection of plants on the Witwatersrand, particularly at Turffontein and on Hospital Hill.

In 1920 Bryant moved to Prieska, where he again made an extensive collection of plants. He appears to have been interested mainly in fodder plants and in conservation. During 1923 and 1924 he contributed three popular articles to the Farmers' Weekly, dealing with "The forestry of the Karoo...", "Arid areas conditions...", and "Rain and rain making...". He also contributed an article on "The growth of fodder bushes" to the South African Journal of Natural History (1926, Vol. 6(1), pp. 56-60). Plant specimens collected by him went to, among others, the Bolus Herbarium, Cape Town; the McGregor Museum Herbarium, Kimberley; and the National Herbarium, Pretoria.

In 1919 Bryant published a short paper on the Prieska nitrate beds in the Journal of the South African Chemical Institute (Vol. 2(2), p. 12). In 1925 he declared that he had found blue asbestos and over a period of a few years published three papers on this mineral in the South African Mining and Engineering Journal: "The formation of blue asbestos" (1925), "The asbestos position in South Africa" (1927), and "Blue asbestos and the ironstone shales" (1930).

Bryant became a member of the of the South African Association of Analytical Chemists (from 1921 the South African Chemical Institute), in 1916. He was married to Shelagh M.M.A. Moore, but they were divorced in 1922.

List of sources:
Cape of Good Hope. Report of the committee of the Albany Museum, 1906.

Gilliland, H.B. On the history of plant study upon the Witwatersrand. Journal of South African Botany, 1953, Vol. 19, pp. 93-104.

Google scholar. http://scholar.google.co.za Publications by E.G. Bryant.

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

Hall, A.L. A bibliography of South African geology .... Pretoria: Geological Survey, Memoirs No. 25, 1927 and 27, 1931.

Journal of the South African Chemical Institute: First decennial index, Volumes I to X, 1918-1927. Johannesburg, 1928.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Bryant, Edward Godfrey / Bryant, E.G.

Phillips, E.P. A brief historical sketch of the development of botanical science in South Africa and the contribution of South Africa to botany. South African Journal of Science, 1930, Vol. 27, pp. 39-80 (see p. 65).

South African Association for the Advancement of Science. Report, 1912, paper by Bryant.

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

South African Chemical Institute. Proceedings and list of members, 1921-1922.

South African Journal of Natural History, 1926, Vol. 6(1), article by Bryant.

Compiled by: C. Plug