Famous Engineers

Francis Thomas Bacon


April 25, 2016

Francis Thomas Bacon (21 December 1904 at Ramsden Hall, Billericay, Essex, England – 24 May 1992) was an English engineer who developed the first practical hydrogen–oxygen fuel cell.

Bacon was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge. After Cambridge he became an apprentice with the Newcastle engineering firm owned by Sir Charles Parsons and was strongly influenced by him.

The principle of the fuel cell had been demonstrated by Sir William Grove in 1839 and other investigators had experimented with various forms of fuel cell. However unlike previous workers in the field, Bacon was an engineer and he was comfortable working with machinery operating at high temperatures and pressures.

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