Ramsay's Nobel Prize

In 1904, Ramsay was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 'for his discovery of the inert gaseous elements in air, and his determination of their place in the Periodic system'.

As a result Ramsay became a considerable celebrity in London and was cartooned both by Spy for Vanity Fair (reproduced elsewhere) and by Henry Tonks, Head of UCL's Slade School of Art.

We also have his medals and decorations, including the Nobel Medal, which we kept in the safe as we thought it was solid gold - until we read that he had his gold medals melted down and the proceeds given to charity, and what we had were the duplicates that he had made.

Ramsay's Nobel Medal The reverse of Ramsay's Nobel Medal.

Ramsay was also an accomplished pianist, composer, and poet. Here is a copy of letter from Rudyard Kipling, where Kipling thanks him for a march tune that Ramsay has composed to which Kipling hopes to write the words. Look at the date: it is 13 August, 1914, 10 days after Germany crossed the border into Belgium, and 9 days after Britain had declared war on Germany.

Letter to Ramsay from Rudyard Kipling