Arnold Frankel

Born: March 17, 1922 | New York City, NY, US
Died: Friday, November 20, 1998 | New York City, NY, US

Arnold Frankel attended City College, enrolling in the chemical engineering curriculum and receiving his BS in 1942. While at City College, he met Seymour Mann, who later became his business partner. After graduation, Frankel accepted a position with the US Rubber Company, working at a TNT plant. Soon thereafter, he moved to Publicker Industries, where he did pilot plant work. He also encouraged Mann to join Publicker. They later formed Aceto Chemical, Inc. , and exported a variety of chemicals. Frankel is joined in the second interview by his wife, Miriam Frankel, and they discuss the difficulties of beginning a business and a family at the same time.

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Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0167
No. of pages: 19

Interview Sessions

Arnold Thackray
13 and 27 March 1998
New York, New York

Abstract of Interview

Arnold Frankel begins the first interview with a discussion of his family background. His father emigrated from Poland to New York in 1907. Though he was a sign painter, he believed in the importance of education. Frankel spent most of his childhood in the Bronx; because of the Depression, the family moved frequently, but remained in the same area. Frankel attended City College, enrolling in the chemical engineering curriculum and receiving his BS in 1942. While at City College, he met Seymour Mann, who later became his business partner. After graduation, Frankel accepted a position with the U. S. Rubber Company, working at a TNT plant. Soon thereafter, he moved to Publicker Industries, where he did pilot plant work. He also encouraged Mann to join Publicker. Frankel and Mann began to discuss forming their own business, and planned to manufacture 2, 4-D, and antifreeze. Though they later discarded that idea, they did form Aceto Chemical, Inc., and exported a variety of chemicals. Frankel is joined in the second interview by his wife, Miriam Frankel, and they discuss the difficulties of beginning a business and a family at the same time.

Education

Year Institution Degree Discipline
1942 City College of New York BChE Chemical Engineering
1945 University of Pennsylvania Graduate Courses
1949 New York University Tandon School of Engineering MChE Chemical Engineering

Professional Experience

United States Rubber Company

1942 to 1943
Operating engineer

Publicker Industries Inc.

1943 to 1947
Research & Development

Aceto Pharma Corporation

1947 to 1997
Co-founder and Chairman

Honors

Year(s) Award
1980

Human Relations Award, American Jewish Committee

Table of Contents

Family Background
1

Father's emigration from Poland to New York. Living in the Bronx during the Depression. Importance of education.

College Education and Early Career
4

Attending City College. Studying chemical engineering. Meeting Seymour Mann. Working in a TNT plant.

Publicker Industries
7

Accepting a position at Publicker. Research and development. Graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. Encouraging Seymour Mann to join Publicker. Pilot plant work.

Aceto Chemical
10

Decision to go into business with Seymour Mann. Plan to produce 2,4-D and antifreeze. Job at Irvington Varnish and Insulator Company. Exporting chemicals.

Notes
17
Index
18
Appendix
20

About the Interviewer

Arnold Thackray

Arnold Thackray founded the Chemical Heritage Foundation and served the organization as president for 25 years. He is currently CHF’s chancellor. Thackray received MA and PhD degrees in history of science from Cambridge University. He has held appointments at Cambridge, Oxford University, and Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In 1983 Thackray received the Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry. He served for more than a quarter century on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the founding chairman of the Department of History and Sociology of Science and is currently the Joseph Priestley Professor Emeritus.