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“R” is for Ravenel, St. Julien (1819-1882)

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“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.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.