William Cruickshank was born in Scotland. Sorry I looked but could not find out where, or when but what I can tell you of course is the rest of the story. He graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1780. In 1788, he was the assistant to Adair Crawford at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.
In 1802, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. By 1803, he was ill, probably due to the exposure of his experiments. Not sure but he died in 1810 or 1811.
What you may not know about William is that he was the first to identify carbon monoxide, he also was the first to use chlorine to purify water. However, his most important contribution was involved was using electrolysis. Alessandro Volta invented the trough battery and he improved on it. He solved the problem by laying the battery on its side in a rectangular box. He lined with box with shellac with pairs of zinc and copper plates, filling the box with diluted sulfuric acid. Using that method, he was able to extract pure metals, know known as electrowinning. It is still in use to this day.
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