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Autobiography of William Joseph Dibdin F.I.C., F.C.S.
Analytical Chemist
1850 - 1925


It has been exciting and a delight to find this autobiography of an ancestor who had such an active life. Although there is a fair degree of repetition, it should be appreciated that in fact this published material have been taken word for word from what can really be described as a first draft. 

Most of it is factual description of William Joseph's work which in its time was of great significance but the delight is when reading those snippets of stories that give insights into the history of the times. 

Sadly, but to be expected of the writings of such a man of that period, there is little about immediate family and family life in the way that one would expect nowadays, however it is not difficult to take on the mantle of the times and read into the meaning behind the asides and comments that refer to family.

This autobiography must have been written within the last few years of his life as there is reference to living at Norwood, that is at 31 Idmidston Road, and the move to this house took place in 1917.

It is interesting to be able to draw further insights from the handful of letters from William to his son, Lionel, during the war time period.

WWI Letters to Lionel Dibdin

This work is interesting, not only from the point of view of an engineer, but also for its insight if the behaviour of politicians and important people that he encountered  and the frustrations and upsets they caused for someone of William's nature who strove to use his creative drive to do the best he could for the society in which he lived.