The Life and Times of Alfred Henry Allen, Sheffield's First Public Analyst

Peter Clare(a) and Michele Clare(b)

(a)  formerly senior partner of AH Allen and Partners and to whom all correspondence should be addressed
(b)  formerly of AH Allen and Partners

Based on a presentation and an exhibition made at the Annual Conference of the Association of Public Analysts held at the Kenwood Hall Hotel, Sheffield on 28th October 2011.


Public Analysts are analytical scientists appointed by local authorities in the United Kingdom and who work to ensure the health and safety of the public in relation to food, consumer protection, agricultural feeding stuffs and fertilizers and other matters.

Alfred Henry Allen was one of the first Public Analysts in the United Kingdom and the first appointed by the City of Sheffield. He was a founder member of the Society of Public Analysts and served as its President (1887-1889) and was also a founder member of the Institute of Chemistry. Through his work as an analytical scientist he played a major role in the battle against food adulteration and in promoting food and water safety in Victorian Sheffield and Britain. His many achievements were published in scientific papers and books which recorded the results of his and other Public Analysts' work. Tragically, he died at the early age of 58 years.

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