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.
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
Subjects and themes
Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!
Black History Month
Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.
A Picture of Health
Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.