“R” is for Ravenel, St. Julien (1819-1882)
“R” is for Ravenel, St. Julien (1819-1882). Physician, chemist, inventor. After graduating from the Medical College of South Carolina, Ravenel studied in Philadelphia and Paris. He then joined the faculty at the Medical College but was encouraged by his mentors to pursue natural history and agricultural chemistry. In 1857 he established the first stone lime works in the state. After the Civil War Ravenel experimented with the phosphate deposits along the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. In 1868 he and several other investors organized the Wando Mining and Manufacturing Company to manufacture fertilizers. He also directed the drilling of a system of artesian wells in and around Charleston, which greatly improved the quality of the city’s water supply. St. Julien Ravenel’s work had an enormous impact on the health and economy of the South Carolina lowcountry.