Renfrew studied chemistry at the University of Idaho, in part, influenced by a chemist uncle. After serving as a teaching assistant in both physics and chemistry and completing a Masters thesis, he joined George Glockler at Minnesota for research on Raman spectroscopy. He recalls contemporaries at both Moscow and Minneapolis, as well as a summer spent on the road with a tent show. When Renfrew joined the Arlington laboratories of du Pont, he was much involved with plastics development, especially of Teflon, and he recalls the enthusiastic interest aroused by the disclosure of its properties at an ACS meeting in 1946. Malcolm Renfrew has long had a special interest in health and safety in the chemical environment, and he recounts laboratory accidents during the development of PTFE. After moving to General Mills and then to Spencer Kellogg, ascending the research management ladder, Renfrew went back to his alma mater in 1959 as head of physical science. He completes the interview with an account of his return to teaching.
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Malcolm M. Renfrew, interviewed by James J. Bohning in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 31, 1987. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0076. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/1n79h560c.
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