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Records of Heriot-Watt College

Papers of Henry Briggs

Sub-fonds Summary

Reference Code

GB 0582 HWC Briggs



Extent and medium of the unit of description



Existence and Location of Originals

This material is original.

Name of creator

Briggs | Henry | 1883-1935 | Hood Professor of Mining at the University of Edinburgh and Professor of Mining at Heriot-Watt College

Biographical History

Biographical History

Henry Briggs (1883-1935) was the Hood Professor of Mining at the University of Edinburgh and Professor of Mining at Heriot-Watt College. He invented mine rescue apparatus and other appliances that now bear his name and also invented a method of measuring the physical fitness of men.

He was educated in Bradford and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Science and Royal School of Mines in London. He gained the Associateship of the Royal School of Mines in 1903 and later also gained the Honours Associateship. He also gained a DSc (Birmingham) and PhD (Edinburgh).

His initial work experience was gained in a Yorkshire colliery although he later became a research assistant and demonstrator at the Royal College of Mines. In 1905 he was appointed lecturer in mine surveying at University of Birmingham and principal mining lecturer for Warwickshire Education Authority. Two years later he was selected for the post of lecturer in Mining at Heriot-Watt College, this post was upgraded to a professorship in 1919. In 1915 he was placed in charge of the mine rescue station.

He was awarded the Warrington Smyth medal and prize for report on Mineral Resources of a district of Cumberland. He gained an OBE for his research work during World War I which included a report to the Board of Trade concerning Barytes mines in the United Kingdom (1914) and research in connection with appliances for trench and mine warfare.

He was appointed appointed a member and experimental director to the Mine Rescue Research Committee, 1917-1920, and a member of the Oxygen Research Committee 1918-1921. He was also chairman of the Oil from Coal Committee of the Scottish National Development Council, president of the Royal Scottish Society of the Arts, Edinburgh, Honorary member of the Institute of Mine Surveyors.

Scope and Content

Scope and Content

The Papers of Henry Briggs consist of:

  • Products of the Natural Development of Coal and Oil, (1933-1934)as featured in the proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Mathematical Investigation into Mine Surveying Practice, (1907)
  • Selected Papers and Reports (1907)
  • On the Propagation of Error in Mine and General Surveys, (1907)
  • The Ventilation of Mines: Generation of Air Current, (1929)
  • papers extracted from the Transactions of the Institute of Mining Engineers and the Proceedings of the South Wales Institute of Engineers (1913-1927)
  • A Note on the Mineralogy of Coal as suggested by X-ray Examination, (1929)
  • The Appearance of Coals, Oil-Shales and Other Mineral Substances in Ultra-Violet Rays, (1929)
  • Colliery Engineering , (1928-1929) and Coal Age, (1928-1929)papers produced with J Wilson
  • photograph of Henry Briggs (1924-1935)




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