Open main menu

Walter Weldon FRS FRSE (31 October 1832 – 20 September 1885) was a 19th-century English industrial chemist and journalist. He was President of the Society of Chemical Industry 1883/84.

Walter Weldon
Walter Weldon chemist and spiritualist.png
Born(1832-10-31)31 October 1832
Died20 September 1885(1885-09-20) (aged 52)


He was born in Loughborough on 31 October 1832, the son of Reuben Weldon and his wife, Esther Fowke.[1]

Weldon was brother to Ernest J. Weldon, founder of Weldon & Wilkinson Ltd.

In 1854 he began work as a journalist in London with The Dial (which was afterwards incorporated in The Morning Star), and in 1860 he started a monthly magazine, Weldon's Register of Facts and Occurrences relating to Literature, the Sciences and the Arts, which was later discontinued.[2]

His publications in the late 1800s were through Weldon & Company, a pattern company who produced hundreds of patterns and projects for numerous types of Victorian needlework. Around 1888, the company began to publish a series of books entitled Weldon’s Practical Needlework, each volume consisting of the various newsletters (one year of publications) bound together with a cloth cover and costing 2 shilling/6 pence. Weldon's Ladies' Journal (1875–1954) supplied dressmaking patterns, and was a blueprint for subsequent 'home weeklies'.

In 1877 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Alexander Crum Brown, Sir James Dewar, John Hutton Balfour and Sir Andrew Douglas Maclagan. In 1882 he was further elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.[3]

Weldon was interested in parapsychology and was a spiritualist, he was a member of the Society for Psychical Research.[4][5]

He died at Rede Hall near Burstow in Surrey on 5 November 1914.


In 1854 he married Anne cotton.

Walter's second son was Walter Frank Raphael Weldon, an English evolutionary zoologist and biometrician.


Weldon was a successful chemist and developed the Weldon process to produce chlorine by boiling hydrochloric acid with manganese dioxide. MnO2 was expensive, and Weldon developed a process for its recycling by treating the manganese chloride produced with milk of lime and blowing air through the mixture to form a precipitate known as Weldon mud which was used to generate more chlorine.

Manganese dioxide reacts with hydrochloric acid to chlorine and Manganse chloride:



  • Weldon’s Practical Needlework
    • Volume 1 - practical knitting, patchwork & crochet, stitches explained.
    • Volume 2 - stocking knitter, cross-stitch embroidery, crewel work, bazaar articles, knitting, crochet, smocking, appliqué work, netting, lace, crochet edgings, knitting edgings.
    • Volume 3 - lace shawls, crocheted evening bags using macramé cord (corday).
    • Volume 4 - knitting, crochet, Mountmellick embroidery, smocking, tatting, decorative needlework, beadwork, macramé lace.
    • Volume 5- knitting, Mountmellick, crochet, drawn thread work,netting.
    • Volume 6 - crochet, knitting, ivory embroidery, canvas embroidery, jewelled embroidery, patchwork, linen embroidery, Mountmellick embroidery, macramé lace
    • Volume 7 - crinkled paper work, knick-knacks, ivory embroidery, knitting, crochet, church embroidery, Mountmellick embroidery, Japanese curtain work.
    • Volume 8 - crochet, Hungarian embroidery, church decorations, crinkled paper work, Mountmellick embroidery, knitting, Bulgarian embroidery.
    • Volume 9 - plain needlework, stock knitting, Mountmellick embroidery, crinkled and crepe tissue paper work, knitting, monograms & initials.
    • Volume 10 - appliqué embroidery, crochet, knitting, leather work, pincushions, point lace, ribbon plaiting.
    • Volume 11 - bent iron work, crochet, knitting, macramé & bead work, point lace, stocking knitter, torchon lace.
    • Volume 12 - crochet & knitted waistcoats, drawn thread work, knitting, Mountmellick embroidery, smocking, stocking knitter.


  1. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5.
  2. ^   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Weldon, Walter". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5.
  4. ^ Philip Joseph Hartog. (1899). Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 60. Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 164-165
  5. ^ Nicol, Fraser. (1972). The Founders of the SPR. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 55: 341-367.