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Sir James Dewar
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Scientist
    (September 20, 1842-March 27, 1923)
    Born in Kincardine-on-Forth, Scotland, United Kingdom
    Chemist and physicist
    Conducted researches at temperatures near absolute zero
    First to produce hydrogen in liquid (1898) and solid (1899) form
    Invented the vacuum flask aka Dewar flask aka Thermos bottle (1892)
    Co-inventor, with Sir Frederick Abel, of the explosive cordite (1889)
    Knighted (1904)
    He shares a name with the inventor of the Twinkie.
    One biographer wrote, ‘Dewar's rule in his laboratory was as absolute as that of a Pharaoh.’
    He and Abel were sued (unsuccessfully) by Alfred Nobel, who claimed that cordite infringed on his patent for a similar explosive, ballistite.
    Perhaps coincidentally, he never won a Nobel Prize despite being nominated multiple times.
    He was married to Helen Rose Banks for 52 years until his death.
    A crater on the moon was named after him.
    He did not take out a patent on the vacuum flask, thus missing out on millions in royalties when the Thermos Company copied his design.
    Proving karma’s a bitch, the Thermos Company later lost its trademark on ‘Thermos Bottle’ when a US court ruled the phrase had become the generic term for a vacuum flask (1963).

Credit: C. Fishel


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