Catalyst Museum needs your help!

We are Crowdfunding to raise money to create a new gallery to celebrate the work of the ‘Fabulous Baker Family’ from Runcorn. This amazing family who lived in Lawson House on Moughland Lane, are largely unknown throughout Halton, yet the work they did individually has helped to save millions of lives.

The father of the family, Dr Harry Baker was the Chief Chemist at Castner Kellner Works in Weston Point and he was instrumental in developing the electrolysis method for the creation of chlorine in 1897. This method, still used today, produces chlorine that is used worldwide in the treatment of water, in the production of PVC, solar panels, bullet proof vests, in computers and in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. In fact, Baker Road in Weston Point is named after him!

His son, Professor Wilson Baker was a lead member of the research team who, in Oxford at the end of World War II, created a revolutionary, life-saving product called Penicillin. Not only that but he was one of the founder members of Oxfam too!

Wilson’s brother Professor Wright Baker was appointed as the Chair of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). He devised a machine that was able to slice the thin copper of the Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran, opening up the possibility for the study of the languages used in the scrolls.

Professor Baker’s wife Dr Kathleen Drew Baker also studied at the University of Manchester where, as a respected botanist she researched laver seaweed of North Wales. Her research was used to save the Nori seaweed industry in Japan, where she is highly revered and known as ‘Mother of the Seas’!

As you can see, a fabulous family of scientific heroes, yet still quite unknown in Halton. We want to create this gallery to preserve the heritage of this area, to tell the story and celebrate the work and achievements of these local people and to be an inspiration to local young people; our scientists of tomorrow.

You can help us to create a lasting legacy by making a donation on our Crowdfunding page at

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