Died when: 96 years 155 days
Star Sign: Scorpio
John Fothergill Crosfield CBE DSc MA (22 October 1915 in Hampstead, London – 25 March 2012 in Hampstead, London), inventor and entrepreneur, was a pioneer in the application of electronics to all aspects of colour printing and the inventor of the acoustic and subsonic mines during the Second World War. Graduating with a degree in mechanical sciences from Cambridge University in 1936, Crosfield was working on electrical lifts for ASEA in Sweden when war was declared. He joined the Admiralty, where with a team of mathematicians and engineers he was charged with developing sonar, to detect midget submarines, and new types of mines. In 1947, Crosfield founded J F Crosfield Ltd. (later Crosfield Electronics Ltd.) to develop press control equipment, beginning with the Autotron, that enabled magazines to print economically in colour. Following this the company played a leading role in the introduction of colour scanning in 1958, phototypesetting and later the automated composition of pages incorporating pictures and text, a 1970s precursor to Photoshop. He founded Crosfield Business Machines Ltd in 1966 to develop and produce banknote inspection, counting and sorting machines. The companies won 4 Queens Awards for Technology and Exports. De La Rue acquired the Crosfield businesses in 1975. In 1971, Crosfield was appointed a CBE for Services to Industry. Though he was a board member of De La Rue, Baker Perkins and the Scientific Instruments Research Association until 1985, Crosfield found time to research and write The Crosfield Family, The Cadbury Family and, in 1991, Recollections of Crosfield Electronics 1947 to 1975. He installed an electron-microscope in his studio, using it to scan and image microscopic insect and plant life from his garden. He used these images as the inspiration for surreal but fascinating paintings. Crosfield was noted for his generosity, giving away most of the fruits of his success in his lifetime. He was widely read, a good conversationalist and always interested in the exploits of his large, extended family and his many friends and their offspring. After a short illness, he died at his home at the age of 96.