Hinton was born in Tisbury, Wiltshire, on 12 May 1901 and educated at Chippenham Grammar School. After serving an apprenticeship he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. He worked at ICI (Alkali) Northwich from 1931-40, when he was seconded to the Ministry of Supply. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Director-General of Filling Factories (1942-6); Deputy Controller, Atomic Energy (Production), Ministry of Supply (1946-54); and as a Member of Board for Engineering and Production and Managing Director of the Industrial Group, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (1954-57). He later served as Chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board (1957-64) and as Deputy Chairman of the Electricity Supply Council (1965-83).
Under Hinton's direction the fuel and enrichment plants at Springfields and Capenhurst, the original reactors and fuel reprocessing plant at Windscale, Calder Hall and Chapelcross nuclear power stations and the Dounreay Experimental Reactor Establishment were built.
He was knighted in 1951; became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1954; was awarded a life peerage in 1965; and the Order of Merit in 1976. He published "Engineers and Engineering" (1970) and "Heavy Current Electricity in the United Kingdom: history and Development" (1979).
He died in 1983.
Includes two copies of Lord Hinton's unpublished memoirs covering his life and career from 1901-70; lectures and talks, 1950s & 1960s; and planning and progress charts for the United Kingdom's atomic energy programme, 1946-54, with an interesting and informative covering letter by Hinton dated April 1982.
The bulk of the material concerns Hinton's involvement with the development of nuclear energy in UK, but there are also papers and lectures relating to his report for the Ministry of Transport on the carriage of parcels and small items (1968) and on the prospects for nuclear power in developing countries.
The collection was deposited at Churchill Archives Centre by Hinton in 1971, 1972 and 1982. A biographical memoir relating to Hinton was deposited in 1991.