Digital Collections

Oral history interview with Cheves Walling

  • 1979-Sep-12

Oral history interview with Cheves Walling

  • 1979-Sep-12

Cheves Walling begins this interview by describing his family, early education, and undergraduate days at Harvard. He then discusses his graduate education at the University of Chicago, stressing the major review article on the peroxide effect that he and Frank Mayo wrote in 1940. Walling next examines the research that he undertook at Du Pont, U.S. Rubber, and Lever Brothers, emphasizing the work that he did before 1950 at U.S. Rubber. Finally, Walling examines his academic career at Columbia and the University of Utah. Throughout the interview he reflects upon the emergence and maturation of physical organic chemistry.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 38 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

About the Interviewer

Leon Gortler is a professor of chemistry at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He holds AB and MS degrees from the University of Chicago and a PhD from Harvard University where he worked with Paul Bartlett. He has long been interested in the history of chemistry, in particular the development of physical organic chemistry, and has conducted over fifty oral and videotaped interviews with major American chemists.

Institutional location

Oral history number 0009

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • February 28, 1916
  • Evanston, Illinois, United States
  • June 19, 2007
  • Hillsborough, New Hampshire, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1937 Harvard University BA Chemistry
1939 University of Chicago PhD Organic Chemistry

Professional Experience

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company

  • 1939 to 1942 Research Chemist

United States Rubber Company

  • 1943 to 1949 Research Chemist

Levers Brothers Company

  • 1949 to 1952 Research Associate

Columbia University

  • 1952 to 1970 Professor
  • 1963 to 1966 Chairman

University of Utah

  • 1970 Distinguished Professor


Year(s) Award
1964 Elected to National Academy of Sciences
1965 Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1971 James Flack Norris Award, American Chemical Society
1975 Editor, Journal of the American Chemical Society

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PDF — 192 KB

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

4 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads