A chemist, industrialist and archaeologist, Sir Robert Ludwig Mond followed the motto: “Make yourself necessary”.
Born to a famous chemist, Sir Robert Mond carried out research in his father’s firm which in 1926 was incorporated into Imperial Chemical Industries.
In the early 1900s, he was also among the number of influential people in the United Kingdom who wished to foster the cultural development of the British Empire, including Canada. He was a great supporter of education and funded hospitals, including the Hospital for Sick Children.
Many of the Egyptian artifacts brought to the Museum by Charles T. Currelly were from excavations funded by Sir Robert Mond. He funded Currelly’s early collecting work, continued to help after the Museum opened, and joined The Twenty Friends of the Arts, the ROM’s first donor group in 1917. He also donated his own artifacts from Egypt, Persia, China and Europe to the Museum.
When a Chinese library of 40,000 volumes was offered for sale in Beijing in the early 1930s, Sir Robert Mond and three other donors generously purchased them for the ROM. Mond and another benefactor, Sigmund Samuel, then funded an addition to the ROM to house the new library. It opened in 1937.
In 1934, the University of Toronto recognized Sir Robert Mond’s extraordinary contribution by conferring on him an honourary doctorate.