Oral history interview with Roy G. Neville

Oral history interview with Roy G. Neville

  • 2005-Jun-20 (First session)
  • 2005-Jun-21 (Second session)

Roy G. Neville comments on his family and his childhood in Bournemouth, England during the start of World War II, while admitting that he was not very intrigued by his first chemistry lesson but enjoyed performing experiments. Neville eventually earned his master's degree and Ph.D. in the U.S. at the University of Oregon, later establishing Engineering and Technical Consultants, Inc. to help chemists in industry. As an entrepreneur, Neville spent more of his time and money on his rare book collection and the creation of The Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library at the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 120 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute
Digitization funder
  • Audio synchronization made possible through the generous funding of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

About the Interviewer

James J. Bohning was professor emeritus of chemistry at Wilkes University, where he had been a faculty member from 1959 to 1990. He served there as chemistry department chair from 1970 to 1986 and environmental science department chair from 1987 to 1990. Bohning was chair of the American Chemical Society’s Division of the History of Chemistry in 1986; he received the division’s Outstanding Paper Award in 1989 and presented more than forty papers at national meetings of the society. Bohning was on the advisory committee of the society’s National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program from its inception in 1992 through 2001 and is currently a consultant to the committee. He developed the oral history program of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and he was CHF’s director of oral history from 1990 to 1995. From 1995 to 1998, Bohning was a science writer for the News Service group of the American Chemical Society. In May 2005, he received the Joseph Priestley Service Award from the Susquehanna Valley Section of the American Chemical Society.  Bohning passed away in September 2011.

Physical location

Oral history number 0317

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • October 15, 1926
  • Bournemouth, United Kingdom
  • November 26, 2007
  • Pebble Beach, California, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1951 University of London BSc honours
1952 University of Oregon MSc
1954 University of Oregon PhD Physical Organic Chemistry

Professional Experience

Monsanto Chemical Company

  • 1955 to 1957 Senior Research Chemist

Boeing Airplane Company

  • 1957 to 1958 Senior Chemical Engineer

Lockheed Missiles and Space Company

  • 1958 to 1961 Research Scientist

Aerospace Corporation

  • 1961 to 1963 Member, Technical Staff and Polymer Chemist

North American Aviation

  • 1963 to 1967 Principal Scientist

Boeing Science Research Labs

  • 1967 to 1969 Head, Polymer Research Lab

Bechtel Corporation

  • 1969 to 1973 Senior Scientist Specialist, Science Development Department

Engineering & Technical Consultants, Inc.

  • 1973 to 2007 President and Consultant


Year(s) Award
1951 Fulbright Scholarship
1951 to 1952 Fellow, U. S. Public Health Service
1953 to 1954 Fellow, Research Corporation
1963 Fellow, Royal Institute of Chemistry, London
1973 DSc (hon. ), Royal Institute of Chemistry, London
2004 Founding of the Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library at the Chemical Heritage Foundation
2004 Lifetime Achievement Award, Chemical Heritage Foundation
2004 Establishment of the Roy G. Neville Fellowship, Chemical Heritage Foundation
2006 Establishment of the Roy G. Neville Prize in Bibliography or Biography, Chemical Heritage Foundation

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PDF — 884 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

17 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads