Willard C. Asbury
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Peter Morris starts this interview by asking Donald Green and Willard Asbury about the early years at Standard Oil Development Company and the influence of Frank Howard and Eger Murphree. The arc process is discussed as well as the level of assistance obtained from IG Farben; Green and Asbury recall the IG research organization. The wartime pressures during the development of GR-S, and the problems at the Baton Rouge plant are discussed by Green, while Asbury tells of his visit to Germany with the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. The political recriminations of the prewar cooperation between Standard Oil and IG Farben are recollected as are visits to Germany in the 1930s and 1950s. The interview ends with a survey of the postwar move into chemicals, the Ziegler process and the future of the oil and petrochemical industries. [NOTE: Both Donald Green and Willard Asbury died before this interview was edited and annotated.]
|1925||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||SB||Chemical Engineering|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Standard Oil Company of Louisiana
Standard Oil Development Company
Hydrogenation Engineering and Chemical Company, Standard Oil
Standard Oil International Company
Standard Oil Company
Esso Research and Engineering Company
Table of Contents
Recollections of Frank Howard and Eger Murphree. The arc process, assistance from IG Farben. Paul Baumann. Organization of research groups at IG. Martin Müller-Conradi. Butyl rubber process.
Wartime pressures. Development of GR-S. Problems at the Baton Rouge plant. Reactor kinetics. Association with Flory.
Asbury's visit to Germany with U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey; effectiveness of Allied bombing. Rubber from Oil. Recriminations of Standard Oil/IG Farben prewar agreement. Recollections of Germany pre- and postwar. Postwar move into chemicals. The Ziegler process. Future of oil and petrochemical industries.
About the Interviewer
Peter J. T. Morris is currently at the Department of the History of Science and Technology of the Open University, where he is Royal Society-British Academy Research Fellow. Morris was educated at Oxford University receiving his BA, chemistry in 1978; DPhil, modern history in 1983, and he was a research fellow at the Open University from 1982 to 1984. During the period 1985–1987, Peter Morris was Assistant Director for Special Projects at the Beckman Center. He was the Royal Society–British Academy Research Fellow at the Open University, Milton Keynes, between 1987 and 1991, and Edelstein International Fellow in 1991–92. He is author of the monographs, Archives of the British Chemical Industry, 1800–1914 and Polymer Pioneers; his volume The American Synthetic Rubber Research Program was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in December 1989. Morris also co-edited Milestones in 150 Years of the Chemical Industry in 1991 and The Development of Plastics in 1994.