Sir Frederick Augustus Abel, 1st Bt (1827-1902), Chemist and explosives expert
Sitter in 8 portraits
Sir Frederick Augustus Abel was a chemist and explosives specialist who, with the chemist Sir James Dewar, invented cordite, which was later adopted as the standard explosive of the British army. Abel studied chemistry at the Royal Polytechnic Institution and in 1845 became one of the original twenty-six students of A.W. von Hofmann at the Royal College of Chemistry. In 1852 he was appointed lecturer in chemistry at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, succeeding Michael Faraday. From 1854 until 1888 Abel served as ordnance chemist at the Chemical Establishment of the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich, establishing himself as the leading British authority on explosives.