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John Reynolds (1899-1986) was educated at Friends' School, Hobart, and Hobart Technical School, where he studied chemistry. He had a distinguished career as a metallurgist, starting with the E.Z. Co., and played a leading role in the establishment of the Australian aluminium industry with its beginnings at Bell Bay following the discovery of bauxite at Ouse in 1943. In 1939, at the beginning of the War, he was seconded to the Public Service as Commerce Officer, Department of Agriculture, Commerce & Industry Section, Hobart, to advise on the production of industrial charcoal for carbide manufacture. He was involved in making a contract for the sale of wolfram and tungsten to the British Government. He held a number of advisory and official posts in Tasmania during the next two decades, including responsibility for the implementation of the Grain Reserve Act 1950.
John Reynolds main interest, however, lay in journalism and historical research. He won a Commonwealth Literary Fund Award for his biography of Edmund (Toby) Barton. He wrote a life of William Lawrence Baillieu, Launceston -the history of an Australian City (1969); Men & Mines (1974) and articles for the Australian Dictionary of Biography and the Transactions of the Tasmanian Historical Research Association. His last book, Countries of the mind, a biography of Edmund Morris Miller, completed in collaboration with Margaret Giordano, was published in 1987 after his death.