The ACS in San Francisco, 1910 - American Chemical Society

planes. On Monday, July 4, 1910, a special train of the Santa Fe. Railroad pulled out of Chicago hound for San Francisco and the Forty-Second Annual M...
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/tory behind the /tory The ACS in San Francisco, 1910 A. 1.Tarbell and D. S. Tarbell

Vanderbilt University. Nashville. TN 37235 Ith0ugh the fall meeting of the American Chemical Society in I9811was u,hiskrd I(, Lai Yeaas and San Franvisro was not to be its site, it is pleasant to look hack 70 years and relive an earlier, more leisurely journey to the city of the Golden Gate, before the busy chemist hurried to and fro in speeding jet planes. On Monday, July 4, 1910, a special train of the Santa Fe Railroad pulled out of Chicago hound for San Francisco and the Forty-Second Annual Meeting, the first national meeting to he held west of the Rockies and the second beyond the Mississippi River. Entertained earlier by the Chicago Section a t a gala Independence Day luncheon, the 110 members and guests enjoyed the diner, library, buffet, and observation cars, and "the Pullman Company's finest equipment, electricliehted throuehout" (1.2). " ~ f t e the r li00-mile crossing of the plains, a special train excursion to Pike's Peak and the Garden of the Gods broke their journey at Colorado Springs, and on July 8, caniages and waeons orovided in Adamana. Arizona, bore the party twelve miies to.the colorful Petrified Forest where '.a~iwerkrepaid by the wonders awaiting them." Mr. Ralph Gould, chairman of the California committee, came aboard to welcome them a t Grand Canyon, and a t their first stops in the Golden State-Redlands and Riverside-a committee of Los Angeles chemists joined the group to spend a pleasant afternoon "automobiling through the orchards and palm-grown avenues." On the next day, July 10, they toured Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Long Beach, dined beside the Pacific, and enjoyed a reception a t the Sierra Madre Club. An overnight journey took them to Lang, where they toured the Sterling Borax Mines by special train, then proceeded to visit Santa Barbara and the mission. At 6:00 A.M. on July 12, as the train approached Salinas, the passengers awoke to "the greatest excitement of the whole trip," a severe train wreck! Running a t excessive speed, their special train had left the track a t a curve, demolishing the engine and three cars and killing the engineer, fireman, and conductor. Fortunatelv. most the arty were in their berths and, although they werebadly shaken ub, only a few sustained minor iniuries. After a three-hour delay the travellers were taken to-San Jose, where local chemists greeted them and filled their cars with flowers and fruit from the beautiful Santa Clara Valley. Obliged to forego their visit to Stanford University in Palo Alto, the party drew in to San Francisco a t 600 p.m., after ievrn days en route. From that time on "the hospitality uf rhe ('alil'ornia Section was houndlws." \\'ilder Hancmti ~~iCornell. the President (,ithe ACS. called a Council meeting that evening a t the St. Francis ~ n k lthe , meeting headquarters. Among the 23 well-known chemists attending were academic research workers C. L. Parsons (secretary of the ACS), New Hampshire; G. B. Frankforter, Minnesota; H. McCormack, Armour Institute of Technology; W. L. Dudley, Vanderbilt; Alexander Smith, Chicago; W. A. Noyes, Illinois; M. Gomberg, Michigan; H. G. Byers, Washington; C. F. Crowley, Creighton University in Omaha; and C. H. Herty, North Carolina. Industrial and manufacturing ~



Journal of Chemical Education

edited by JOHNH. WOTIZ Sournern Illinois University Carbondale, illinois 62901

chemists included A. P. Hallock, New York; F. B. Porter, Fort Worth, Texas; Felix Lengfeld, San Francisco; G. P. Adamson, Baker and Adamson Co.; W. R. Whitney, Director of Research of General Electric, Schenectady; L. H. Baekeland, then working on "Bakelite"; and A. M, Comey, Director of DuPont's Eastern Laboratory. A. M. Patterson, editor of Ch~rnicalAbstracts: F. K . Cameron. U S . Denartment of Agriculture; and W. F. Hillehrand, chief of the U.S. Bureau of Standards. also attended 13). . . Six Council memben (25%) had received their doctorates a t Johns Hopkins in Ira kemsen's time, an indication of his influence in the growth of American chemistry ( 4 ) . The Council established a new Su~ervisorvCommittee on Standard Methods of Analysis, much needed in those early days of beginning industrialization, organized aericulture, and control offood and water resources, t i prevent duplication of work among divisions and to promote improvement in analytical methods; endorsed the creation of a National Department of Health; chartered a new section near Pullman, Washington, (Northern Intermountain, 1912); and set the sites for the next two meetings in Minneapolis and Indianapolis. On the next morning, Wednesday, July 13,1910,' President Bancroft called to order the Fortv-second General Meetine. After a welcome by Arthur ~ a c h h a nof Berkeley, addresses were given by Bancroft; E. C. Franklin of Stanford, Chairman of the California Section; W. F. Hillebrand; and H. E. Barnard, Indiana State Food and Drue Commissioner. A ladies' reception, an afternoon excursion to Half Moon Bay and Tunitas Glen, a smoker, and a theater party rounded out the day. The five orieinal Divisions, all formed in 1908--Industrial Chemists andChemical Engineers (the first division), Agriculture and Food, Fertilizer, Organic, and Physical and Inorganic Chemistry-plus the new Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (organized in 1909 and now the Division of Medicinal Chemistry) (51,convened for paper sessions on Thursday and Saturday mornings only. For all other times of the meeting, plant visits, festivities, i n d entertainment were so thoroughly planned that some members lamented that the Californian hospitality restricted or eliminated their discussions, extra sessions, and even some scheduled meetings, and as late as Sunday night the party had, "almost for the first time, opportunity to sleep." Of narticular interest was the timelv "Svm~osiumon ~ m e l t k rSmoke" featured by the Div~sion~of'1ndustrial Chemists and Chemical Eneineers on Thursdav mornine. A y Raskerville of City (hllege 01' New general paper t ~ Charles York was read. and H'. C. Khnueh of the llniver.;itv o i l ' t a h gave his paperon the problems of the heavy pollut& of the Great Salt Lake Valley by lead smelters. The most exciting presentation was by Frederick G. Cottrell of the University of California a t Berkeley. His paper, "The Electric Precipitation of Suspended Matter," given with lantern slides, described the development from crude lahoratory stage to the recent, successful commercial installations Parson's account (Ref. 1) states that this meeting opened on Wednesday. "July 14th." Examination of the chronology of the trip and meetings and of the calendar for 1910 indicates that it must have opened on Wednesday. July 13th.


of his electrostatic precipitators, in later years to he used throughout the world for pollution prevent& and recovery of materials. Early European experimentalists had worked up until 1886 on eiectricd precipitation with noapplied success, and in 1906 Cottrell revived research, studying methods for removal of acid from mists in the contact process of manufacturing HzSO4. With his application of engineering practices he achieved success, and the first practical demonstration was soon made a t the Hercules works of E. I. duPont de Nemours Powder Plant a t Pinole. California. The second successful installation was in 1907 near Berkeley in Vallejo Junction a t the Selbv Smelting and Lead Co.. which was then under court injunction in a protracted antipollution suit brought by farmers of the area (6). Cottrell's rambling address delivered from notes, his first important statement on his work, raised immediate repercussions throughout the country and abroad; queries on the use of electrical precipitation to solve smoke-fume problems poured in to hisinfant company, Western Precipitation Co. To the numerous requests from technical journals for a paper to publish, Cottrell rkplied that he had only notes and wisioo busy to prepare a manuscript. The idea (attributed to Cottrell a t this session) for an ACS committee to investigate the fume problem influenced the Bureau of Mines to undertake the responsibility, and the followingspring the Bureau established a San Francisco laboratory with Cottrell as director (71. At this same "memorable meeting" he also met Arthur D. Little, who guided him and his associates in 1911-1912 toward Cottrell's altruistic eoal of foundine the Research Cornoration. To this



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