S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Crosse, Mr Andrew Frederick (chemistry, metallurgy)

Born: 1852, Place not known.
Died: 1925, Cape Province, South Africa.

Andrew Frederick Crosse, consulting chemist and metallurgist in Johannesburg, was a foundation member of the Chemical and Metallurgical Society of South Africa in 1894, served as its first vice-president during 1894/5, and as president for 1895/6. He remained a member of council, first as an honorary vice-president (1896/7) and then as honorary treasurer (1897-1902). During these years he delivered a number of papers on the recovery of gold and associated chemical processes and analyses to members of the society. These were published in its Proceedings: "Notes on dry crushing" (1894), dealing with the efficiency of this process; "The treatment of pyritous concentrates by cyanide" (1895); "Solvent power of various cyanide solutions" (1896); "Notes on assaying ground graphite crucibles" (1897); "Pure bullion from the zinc process" (1898); and "The estimation of oxygen in working cyanide solutions" (1898). For this last paper he was awarded the society's gold medal on 21 January 1899, in recognition of his original work. He continued his contributions with "Notes on the estimation of 'protective alkali' in cyanide solutions" (1899).

After the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) the society changed its name to the Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa, and Crosse read before it his "Notes on the analysis of cyanide solutions" (1902) and "The regeneration of working cyanide solutions where zinc precipitation is used" (1903). After several quiet years he continued publishing in the society's Journal, for example, "Treatment of ore slime" (1909/10), "An electro-magnetic separator" (1911/12), "The action of mineral sulphates and arsenates on cyanide solutions" (1911/12), "Assaying concentrates and battery chips for gold and platinum metals" (1913/14), and a note on a rich nickel ore (1921). In 1910 he was granted a United States patent for an improved method of extracting gold and silver from ore slimes.

Another subject to which Crosse made noteworthy early contributions was the logging of boreholes. In 1895 he made observations of the increase of temperature with depth, which were published in The Star in May of that year. He then devised a means to measure the deviation of boreholes from the vertical, and the direction of such deviations from magnetic north. The method, which was rather involved, was described in "A new apparatus for surveying boreholes", read before the South African Association of Engineers and Architects on 28 July 1897 and published in its Proceedings (Vol. 4, pp. 5-11, 19-20). The paper also dealt with the problem of measuring the temperature in deep boreholes filled with water. Meanwhile he had also written "Notes on the payable conglomerate beds ... on the Witwatersrand gold-fields", which was read before the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy in London (of which he was a member) on 19 October 1898, and published in its Abstract of Proceedings.

In 1903 Crosse was appointed as a member of the Technical Education Commission, set up to investigate scientific and technical institutions and education in the Transvaal Colony. The next year the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, which he had joined as a foundation member in 1902, held its second annual meeting in Johannesburg. Crosse served on the committee of Section A of the association during 1903 and 1904. At the Johannesburg meeting he delivered a paper on "The genesis of soils with special reference to the Transvaal", published in the association's Report for 1904 (pp. 83-93). His systematic treatment of the topic, about which very little was known at the time, was an important early contribution to soil science in the Transvaal. He was still a member of the association by 1918.

In 1877 Andrew Frederick Crosse (1852-1925), presumably the same person, lived in Hungary, where he grew vines for wine production. He was married to Emilia Pawlowski (who died in 1892), with whom he had a daughter. He wrote a book, Round about the Carpathians (Edinburgh, 1878, 375p), in which he described the Transylvania region of Romania.

List of sources:
Chemical and Metallurgical Society of South Africa. Proceedings, 1894-1899, Vol. 1-2.

Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa. Proceedings, 1902-1903, Vol. 3; Journal, 1903-1905, Vol. 4-5; 1909-1914, Vol. 10, 12 and 14.

Google patents. https://www.google.com/patents/US951940

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Andrew Frederick Crosse / A.F. Crosse.

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

Orr, J. Presidential address. Associated Scientific and Technical Societies of South Africa, Annual Proceedings, 1938, pp. 15-86 (see pp. 16, 26).

South African Association for the Advancement of Science. Report for 1903, 1904, 1905/6, 1918.

South African Association of Engineers and Architects. Proceedings, 1897-1898, Vol. 4: Crosse's paper.

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

Yoi Crosse. http://www.wikiwand.com/it/Yoï_Crosse

Compiled by: C. Plug