Raymond R. Ridgwaywas born in Morris, Illinois on August 27, 1897. He was one of the outstanding research men in electrothermics in the 20s and 30s. He was a research engineer with the Norton Company of Chippawa, Ontario, Canada. He contributed a long list of inventions in the design of electric furnaces of the resistor type; improvements in the production of fused alumina, silicon carbide and magnesia; and the production of hard metal carbides. One of his outstanding accomplishments was the discovery and commercial production of boron carbide the hardest known material then next to diamond. It found wide application in dies for drawing wire, in hard bearings, and in nozzles used in sandblasting. Another important discovery was the production of artificial crystalline periclase, a rare material found in nature which has many desirable properties including being transparent with a high melting point. In recognition of his accomplishments, Mr. Ridgway received the "Modern Pioneer Award" in February 1940.
Raymond Ridgway joined the Society in 1920. He contributed a number of important papers to the Society Transactions, in particular on high temperatures and on materials of extreme hardness. He was an active member of the Electrothermic Division and was elected President of the Society in 1941.