The Times/1887/Obituary/Robert Hunt
Mr. Robert Hunt, F.R.S., late Keeper of the Mining Records, died at his residence in Chelsea on the 17th inst. He was a self-educated man, and was born at Devonport in September, 1807, so that he had completed his 80th year. Mr. Hunt was a voluminous writer upon scientific subjects and nearly half a century ago he published his first work on "Photography." This was succeeded in 1844 by "Researches on Light," "The Poetry of Science," and "Panthea, or Spirit of Nature," 1849. "Elementary Physics" appeared in 1851, and the "Manual of Photography" in 1852. By 1857 seven editions three editions of Ure's valuable "Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines." The seventh edition of this compilation was published in 1875, and a supplementary volume in 1878. The most important branch of science to which Mr. Hunt specially devoted himself was the chemical influence of solar rays. He discovered several leading photographic processes, and largely contributed to a more perfect knowledge of the influences of light, heat and the chemical action of the solar rays upon the growth of plants. The result of these researches were printed in the "Transactions" of the British Association and of the Royal Society. For five years Mr. Hunt was secretary to the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, and during this period he was closely engaged in investigating the phenomena of mineral veins and of metalliferous deposits in general. He was, further, the author of the "Synopsis" and of the "Handbook" of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and of the International Exhibition of 1862. Mr. Hunt rendered very valuable scientific services to the nation in various directions. He was the originator of the publication of statistical returns of the mineral produce of the United Kingdom; and his "Mineral Statistics" were transferred to the mine inspectors under the Home Office. Mr. Hunt founded the Miners' Association of Cornwall and Devonshire, with the object of affording a scientific education to the practical minder. The association has since been incorporated with the Mining Institute. In 1866 he was one of the Royal Commissioners appointed to inquire into the quantity of coal remaining unworked in the British coalfields. He published in 1884 a comprehensive work on British mining, and not long ago he was awarded the Diploma of Honour by the authorities of the Health Exhibition. Mr. Hunt was the first appointed Professor of Mechanical Science to the Government School of Mines.