J. Taylor Carrick, geologist, was born in Australia of Irish parents and obtained the degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) before starting his geological work in South Africa.
Carrick's first contribution to the geology of South Africa was a paper on "Gold in Zululand: The Vryheid banket gold beds", which was included in T. Reunert's* Diamonds and gold in South Africa (1893, pp. 187-195). By 1895 he was on the Witwatersrand and for six months visited various gold mines to make observations. This work resulted in a paper, "On faulting along the Main Reef line", read before the Geological Society of South Africa in April 1896, with a short, follow-up paper on the same topic in July. He concluded that the dip faults were the result of subsidence during the period when the strata were being deposited. Both papers were published in the Society's Transactions (Vol. 2, pp. 39-41, 81-83).
From October 1898 to August 1899 Carrick made a geological survey of the West Rand at the request of the brothers D.J. and E.J. Pullinger, South African gold mining pioneers. He read a paper based on this work at the joint meeting of the British and South African Associations for the Advancement of Science in Johannesburg, on 1 September 1905. It was published as "The geology of the West Rand" in Addresses and papers read at the joint meeting of the British and South African Associations for the Advancement of Science, South Africa, 1905 (Vol. 2, pp. 88-100) and contains a description of the stratigraphy of the Witwatersrand. His results agreed in the main with the geological map of the southern Transvaal published by F.H. Hatch* in 1897, particularly with regard to the westward continuation of the Main Reef. During 1904 to 1906 he also participated in the discussion of several papers on the geology of the Witwatersrand at meetings of the Geological Society of South Africa in Johannesburg.
Carrick served on the Council of the Geological Society of South Africa in 1896 and 1897, and was still a member by 1906. He was also a member of the Chemical and Metallurgical Society of South Africa (from 1902 the Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa), served on its council during 1899-1902, and published a short paper in its Journal on "The coagulation and rapid settlement of slimes" (1898, Vol. 1, pp. 96-97). In 1905 he became a member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. At that time he was a consulting geologist in Johannesburg.
Carrick's contributions to metallurgy consisted of several United States patents for improvements in smelting sulfide ores (1906), the wet treatment of mattes containing metals of the copper, iron or nickel groups (1908), agitating and separating mixtures of solid matter and liquids (1908), pyritic smelting (1908), smelting copper or copper-nickel ores (1908), and the treatment of pyritic copper and copper-nickel ores (1909). In all these patent applications he described himself as James Taylor Carrick, geologist, living in Johannesburg.
In June 1909 Carrick sailed for England from Durban on the passanger steamer Waratah. The ship mysteriously disappeared between Durban and East London and he was officially presumed to have died on 27 July 1909. He was married to Hellen Frances Sarah Carrick.