Search the Collection

Sir James Dewar

(1842-1923), Chemist

Sitter in 5 portraits
A physicist whose study of low-temperature phenomena included the use of a double-walled vacuum flask of his own design that has been named after him. He was also the first person to liquefy and solidify hydrogen gas. Dewar was appointed professor at the University of Cambridge in 1875 and at the Royal Institution two years later. He held both posts throughout his life. In around 1892 he came up with the idea of using vacuum-jacketed vessels for the storage of low-temperature liquid gases. The resulting device was so efficient in maintaining the temperature of gases that it became an essential tool in low-temperature scientific work. The principle Dewar invented formed the basis for the thermos flask.

List Thumbnail

Sir James Dewar, by Carmelo Cernigliari-Melilli - NPG 2118

Sir James Dewar

by Carmelo Cernigliari-Melilli
bronze statuette, 1906
NPG 2118

Sir James Dewar, by George D. MacDougald - NPG 2119

Sir James Dewar

by George D. MacDougald
bronze bust, 1910
NPG 2119

Sir James Dewar, by Alexander Scott, or  Ethel Glazebrook - NPG x5197

Sir James Dewar

by Alexander Scott, or Ethel Glazebrook
platinum print, 1902
NPG x5197

Sir James Dewar, by (Mary) Olive Edis (Mrs Galsworthy) - NPG x5198

Sir James Dewar

by (Mary) Olive Edis (Mrs Galsworthy)
platinotype on photographer's card mount, 1910s
NPG x5198

Sir James Dewar, by (Mary) Olive Edis (Mrs Galsworthy) - NPG x5199

Sir James Dewar

by (Mary) Olive Edis (Mrs Galsworthy)
platinotype on photographer's card mount, 1910s
NPG x5199


Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.