Digital Collections

Oral history interview with Charles M. Judson

  • 2002-Dec-06 – 2002-Dec-07

Oral history interview with Charles M. Judson

  • 2002-Dec-06 – 2002-Dec-07

Charles M. Judson begins his interview with a description of his father and the effect that his father had on his own interest in science. His father was a chief metrologist at the National Bureau of Standards and enjoyed taking young Judson on Sunday walks, describing the scientific aspects of the world around them as they went along. Judson’s father also had a strong influence on his academic career, arranging his high school curriculum to best suit his educational needs. Judson describes himself as a tall, “clumsy” young man and a “disorganized” student who was saved from anonymity by his prowess in basketball. However, in tenth grade, when a heart murmur prevented him from continuing with sports, Judson began to focus on his academics. Judson received a partial scholarship at Swarthmore College and began his undergraduate studies as a physics major. After struggling with the mathematics involved in physics, Judson switched to chemistry and received high honors at Swarthmore. In 1940, Judson began his graduate work in chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, working on the dissociation constants of substituted phenols. However, in 1942, World War II erupted, and Judson left the University of Pennsylvania to work on the Manhattan Project. Judson was put to work studying the absorption of regular uranyl nitrate versus concentration as a possible method of controlling the proposed process. In 1945, with the end of the war, Judson returned to the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1947 he finished his thesis and accepted a job at American Cyanamid Corporation, where he worked on radioactive isotopes and in industrial applications. Judson left American Cyanamid in 1962 and took a position as manager of the Analytical Developments Group at Consolidated Engineering Corporation. After seven years at CEC, Judson left and worked at the University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy. In 1980 Judson settled in a laboratory position at the University of Kansas, where he stayed until retirement. Judson concludes his interview with a discussion of some of the scientific instruments in his home.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 56 pages
  • 6 h 49 m 1 s
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

About the Interviewer

Michael A. Grayson is a member of the Mass Spectrometry Research Resource at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his BS degree in physics from St. Louis University in 1963 and his MS in physics from the University of Missouri at Rolla in 1965. He is the author of over 45 papers in the scientific literature. Before joining the Research Resource, he was a staff scientist at McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratory. While completing his undergraduate and graduate education, he worked at Monsanto Company in St. Louis, where he learned the art and science of mass spectrometry. Grayson is a member of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS), and has served many different positions within that organization. He has served on the Board of Trustees of CHF and is currently a member of CHF's Heritage Council. He currently pursues his interest in the history of mass spectrometry by recording oral histories, assisting in the collection of papers, and researching the early history of the field.

Institutional location

Oral history number 0326

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • 1919
  • , Washington DC, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1940 Swarthmore College B.A. Chemistry
1942 University of Pennsylvania M.S. Chemistry
1947 University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. Physical Chemistry

Professional Experience

University of Pennsylvania

  • 1940 to 1942 Assistant Instructor Chemistry

Columbia University

  • 1942 to 1944 Research Chemist

Standard Oil Company

  • 1944 to 1945 Research Chemist

American Cyanamid Company

  • 1947 to 1954 Research Chemist
  • 1954 to 1957 Group Leader

American Cyanamic Company

  • 1957 to 1962 Manager Chemistry, Physics Section

Consolidated Engineering Corporation, Analytical Instruments Division

  • 1962 to 1963 Manager of Analytical Development
  • 1963 to 1970 Director of Engineering

Granville-Phillips Co.

  • 1970 to 1971 Research Scientist

  • 1971 to 1973 Consultant and Inventor for Mass Spectrometry

Analog Technology Corporation

  • 1973 to 1976 Scientist
  • 1976 to 1979 Chief Scientist

University of Southern California. School of Pharmacy

  • 1973 to 1980 Research Associate

Microtrace Analytical Services

  • 1975 to 1977 Scientist

University of Kansas

  • 1980 to 1989 Mass Spectrometer Laboratory, Director

Cite as

See our FAQ page to learn how to cite an oral history.

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

11 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads