Frederick Wall begins his oral history discussing his family background and childhood in Minnesota, attending the University of Minnesota, and studying chemistry and chemical engineering. After a stint at Caltech with Pauling, Wall moved back to the University of Minnesota and earning his Ph.D. in 1935. At the University of Illinois he worked on infrared spectroscopy, gradually becoming interested in polymers. During World War II he volunteered to work on the rubber problem. In 1963, Wall moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara and later the University of California, San Diego. In 1969, he became executive director of the American Chemical Society (ACS), but soon rejoined academia, becoming professor of chemistry at Rice University.