Claude K. Deischer
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
In this interview, Claude K. Deischer discusses his life and his career as a chemist and historian of chemistry. Initially, Deischer recollects his childhood and early education. He then speaks about his undergraduate education at Kutztown State and Muhlenberg and his graduate and postgraduate research at the University of Pennsylvania. A discussion of his early teaching at Penn, his initial interest in the history of science, and the Smith Collection follows. Deischer then appraises his scholarly activities during and after World War II and his department and students. The interview concludes with Deischer considering the part that he played in starting Chymia, and his contributions to the American Chemical Society and the Moravian Church.
|1928||University of Pennsylvania||MS||Chemistry|
|1933||University of Pennsylvania||PhD||Chemistry|
University of Pennsylvania
Table of Contents
Early years in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. The Moravian church. High school science. A summer job at the foundry. Teaching in a one-room school. Training at a teachers' college.
Muhlenberg College. Scientific learning deepens. Additional experience in the laboratory. Chemical training at Lehigh.
Meeting with Edgar Fahs Smith. The chemistry faculty at Penn. A teaching job at Penn. The analytical chemistry course.
Work with mercury. The gravimetric determination of the atomic weight of mercury. A discussion about apparatus.
Wallace McNabb. Ralph Connor. Philip George. Harry Alsentzer. Ernest Wagner. Initial interest in and early teaching of history of chemistry.
Mrs. Smith donates the collection to Penn. The background and contributions of Eva Armstrong. The collection is moved to the Van Pelt Building.
The teaching of analytical chemistry to army andnavy personnel. Rationale for publishing papers in the history of science. Colleagues in the history of chemistry.
Revitalization of Penn's chemistry department. Service as assistant chairman and member of various committees. Inadequate laboratory apparatus. Research interests of graduate students.
Henry Leicester's efforts. Early difficulties getting Chymia established. Some articles. Changes under Russell McCormmach.
Work with the national and regional sections. The diamond and centennial celebrations.
Work with the Penn Chemists' Fund and The Catalyst. Continued involvement with the Moravian church.
About the Interviewer
John A. Heitmann holds a BS degree in chemistry from Davidson College and an MA degree in history from Clemson University. From 1971 to 1977, he worked as a chemist in the metallurgical industry. He then studied at the Johns Hopkins University under Owen Hannaway and received his doctorate in the history of science in 1983.