Robert Hallowell Richards
1984 Inductee from Mining's Past
Robert H. Richards graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1868 in its first graduating class. His degree was in Mining Engineering, but he was at once offered an assistantship in the Department of Chemistry. In 1873, he was made Professor of Mining Engineering in charge of the department. In 1884, this position was expanded to include Mining Engineering and Metallurgy, the position he held until 1914, when he retired as Professor Emeritus.
Of Professor Richard's many interests, probably his students came first, and next his unique laboratories, being the first in which ore dressing and metallurgical operations could be carried out by students on a practical scale. Twenty-six papers published in the Transactions of the AIME, together with his ore processing inventions, especially classifiers and jigs, are evidence of his abilities as scholar and practical engineer. His four-volume treatise on Ore Dressing, published in 1909, is a classic.
Professor Richards was elected President of the AIME in 1886 and was conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Missouri in 1908. The Mining and Metallurgical Society of America awarded him its gold medal in 1915.