Thomas W. Mastin
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Thomas Mastin begins this interview by discussing his childhood in Indiana and the untimely death of his father. He then explains the origins of his interest in chemistry, his early career at Lubrizol, and his transition from research into management. Mastin shares his opinions on management philosophy and the place of research in the chemical industry. Finally, Mastin reflects on the changes in the industry, his receipt of the Society of Chemistry Award, and his continued interest in photography and nature study.
|1939||University of Illinois at Chicago||MS||Organic Chemistry|
|1942||University of Illinois at Chicago||PhD||Organic Chemistry|
Gelatin Products Company
Honorary Doctorate, Wabash College, Indiana
Honor Award, Commercial Development Association
Honorary Doctorate, Heidelberg College, Ohio
Chemical Industry Medal, Society of Chemical Industry
Table of Contents
Childhood in Indiana and death of father. Influence of high school chemistry teacher. Matriculation at Wabash College.
Financing college during the Depression with farmwork. Research project, under supervision of Dr. Howell, making a metal acetylide. The University of Illinois and association with Carl Marvel. Beginning of lifelong interest in birds.
Research position with Cleveland Industrial Research, research arm of Lubrizol. Starting job as head of new research lab. Improving lubricants with additives. Rapid growth of Lubrizol during World War II.
Supervision of research lab. Lubrizol's philosophy towards research. Relationship with Kelvin Smith. Smith family's ties with Dow Chemical. Foreign expansion of Lubrizol.
Personal opinions on management training. Continuing interest in research. Becoming a shareholder in Lubrizol. Scientific teamwork at Lubrizol.
Response to environmental concerns as CEO. Perspectives on changes in the chemical industry. Society of Chemical Industry Medal and "Intellegence of Life" speech. Continuing interest in photography and naturalism.
About the Interviewer
James J. Bohning was professor emeritus of chemistry at Wilkes University, where he had been a faculty member from 1959 to 1990. He served there as chemistry department chair from 1970 to 1986 and environmental science department chair from 1987 to 1990. Bohning was chair of the American Chemical Society’s Division of the History of Chemistry in 1986; he received the division’s Outstanding Paper Award in 1989 and presented more than forty papers at national meetings of the society. Bohning was on the advisory committee of the society’s National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program from its inception in 1992 through 2001 and is currently a consultant to the committee. He developed the oral history program of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and he was CHF’s director of oral history from 1990 to 1995. From 1995 to 1998, Bohning was a science writer for the News Service group of the American Chemical Society. In May 2005, he received the Joseph Priestley Service Award from the Susquehanna Valley Section of the American Chemical Society. Bohning passed away in September 2011.