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Cyril Stanley Smith

Cyril Stanley Smith (October 4, 1903–August 25, 1992) was a renowned metallurgist and historian of science. Smith is perhaps most famous for his work on the Manhattan Project where he was responsible for the production of fissionable metals.

Smith was born in Birmingham, England and studied metallurgy at the University of Birmingham (BSc) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sc.D). Following his doctorate Smith took up a research post at the American Brass Company. In 1942 he was called into service at the War Metallurgy Committee hosted in Washington. He soon transferred to the Los Alamos National Laboratory to work on the Manhattan Project. He was awarded the Presidential Medal for these activities in 1946.

After the war he founded the Institute of Study of Metals at the University of Chicago. On moving to MIT he worked in both the Department of Humanities and the Department of Metallurgy, gaining the title Institute Professor Emeritus. His focus was to transplant the techniques of metallurgy into the study of the production methods used to create artefacts discovered by archaelogists.

Smith later published several works linking the arts with the sciences. He died of cancer in his Cambridge home aged 88. He was survived by his wife of sixty years (Alice Kimball Smith, a historian of science) and two children.


  • An obituary from the MIT news office
  • An archived news release from MIT including the announcement of Smith's appointment
  • A photo of Professor Smith during his time at Chicago

Selected works

  • History of Metallography: The Development of Ideas on the Structure of Metals Before 1890, 1988, ISBN 0-262-69120-5, MIT Press.
  • From Art to Science 1982, ISBN 0-262-19181-4, MIT Press.
  • Search for Structure: Selected Essays on Science, Art and History 1981, ISBN 0-262-19191-1, MIT Press.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cyril_Stanley_Smith". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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