Oral history interview with James B. Nichols

Oral history interview with James B. Nichols

  • 1986-Jan-14 (First session)
  • 1986-Jan-16 (Second session)

Nichols won scholarships to help him through his undergraduate studies of chemistry at Cornell, where he completed a senior research project with Wilder D. Bancroft. At Bancroft's urging, Burton Nichols met Svedberg, who was then on his way to Wisconsin on sabbatical leave, and followed him to Madison. His introduction to sedimentation techniques was by construction of a pioneer optical centrifuge and its use in pigment characterization. Recollections of this period are followed by an account of his arrival at the Du Pont Experimental Station to work in Kraemer's group, starting with the application of ultracentrifugal techniques to industrial problems. During his long career at Du Pont, Nichols was involved in the evolution of new instruments and polymer characterization. The interview concludes with Nichols recalling colleagues, Du Pont management and organization, as well as his professional society activities.

Place of interview
Original file type PDF, MP3
  • 83 pages
Rights In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Related URL
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Physical location


Cite as

James Burton Nichols, interviewed by Raymond C. Ferguson in Wilmington, Delaware on January 16, 1986. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0034. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/02870x01s.

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Transcript (Published Version)

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

6 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads