James J. Drumm
James Joseph Drumm
|Known for||Drumm Battery|
From 1914 to 1917 he studied at the Chemistry School of University College Dublin (UCD) and then worked in England at the Continuous Reaction Company. In 1922 he returned to Dublin as a chemist for research and production at Fine Chemicals Ltd. He then worked for various companies and participated in research projects. He modernized various processing methods, such as the conservation of peas, to keep their natural green colour in tin cans.
His most famous research result was an electric storage battery, which was also known by his name. Drumm's original idea was to use a Hydroquinone Electrode in a battery cell for power generation. After some experiments, he devoted his attention to alkaline cells. At Drumm's time the only available batteries were based on lead, lead dioxide and sulphuric acid. The iron-nickel alkaline battery was developed by Thomas Edison. Drumm created his first battery at UCD Merrion street and negotiation with the Government led to a prototype conversion of petrol railcar 386 in July 1930. Following successful trials two trains were built at Inchicore and entered regular service on the Dublin-Bray route with charging stations being built at each end. Two more trains were built in 1939 and they continued in service until 1949.
From 1926 to 1931, Drumm worked tirelessly on a new accumulator and finally presented the Drumm Traction Battery on the basis of nickel and zinc. In 1931 he was distinguished for his researches by the National University of Ireland as Doctor of Natural Sciences.
- Irish Chemical News Spring 1988
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