Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Bell, Isaac Lowthian
BELL, Isaac Lowthian, F.R.S., D.C.L., son of the late Thomas Bell, was born in 1816. After completing his studies of physical science at Edinburgh University, and the Sorbonne at Paris, he entered the chemical and iron works at Walker. These, under his subsequent management, were extended. In 1850 he became connected with the chemical works at Washington, in the county of Durham, then in the hands of his father-in-law, the late H. L. Pattinson, F.R.S. Under his direction they were greatly enlarged, and an extensive establishment was constructed for the manufacture of oxychloride of lead, a pigment discovered by Mr. Pattinson. In 1873 he ceased to be a partner in these works, which are now carried on by Mr. Pattinson's other sons-in-law. Mr. Bell, in connection with his brothers, Messrs. Thomas and John Bell, founded, in 1852, the Clarence Works on the Tees, one of the earliest, and now one of the largest iron-smelting concerns on that river, which these gentlemen carry on in connection with extensive collieries and ironstone mines. At present arrangements are in progress for obtaining salt from a bed of the mineral, found at a depth of 1200 feet at Port Clarence. Mr. Bell has been a frequent contributor to various learned societies on subjects connected with the metallurgy of iron, and has recently completed a very elaborate experimental research on the chemical phenomena of the blast furnace. In recognition of his services as Juror at the International Exhibitions at Philadelphia in 1876, and at Paris in 1878, he was elected an honorary member of the American Philosophical Institution, and an Officer of the Legion of Honour. He has filled the office of Sheriff, and was twice elected Mayor of Newcastle-on-Tyne, the last time in order to receive the members of the British Association at their meeting in the year 1863. Mr. Bell was a candidate for the representation of North Durham in Parliament at the general election of Dec. 1868, but was unsuccessful. At the general election of Feb. 1874, however, he was elected by that constituency in the Liberal interest, but on petition was unseated. He again contested the seat at the election consequent on the petition, but was unsuccessful. He was elected M.P. for Hartlepool in July, 1875, but ceased to represent that borough in 1880.