Digital Collections

Oral history interview with Harold J. Read

  • 1995-Mar-22

Oral history interview with Harold J. Read

  • 1995-Mar-22

Harold J. Read describes his family background and his upbringing in Illinois, where he also earned his BS and MA from the University of Illinois but Read later relocated to the University of Pennsylvania where his Ph.D. research brought him into the area of metallurgy. Read also worked for the Mellon Institute where his metal-work eventually led to equipment design and manufacturing prototypes for the Manhattan Project. Read was also greatly involved in the Electrochemical Society, eventually becoming its President while overlooking its publications.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 45 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

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.

Institutional location

Oral history number 0145

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • February 14, 1911
  • Dubuque, Iowa, United States
  • April 19, 1999
  • Englewood, Florida, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1934 University of Illinois at Chicago BS Chemistry
1935 University of Illinois at Chicago MS Chemistry
1939 University of Pennsylvania PhD Chemistry

Professional Experience

University of Illinois at Chicago

  • 1933 to 1935 Chemist, Engineering Experimental Station

University of Pennsylvania

  • 1935 to 1937 Assistant Instructor
  • 1937 to 1938 DuPont Fellow
  • 1938 to 1940 Instructor

Graham, Crowley & Associates

  • 1936 to 1940 Part-time Chemist

Mellon Institute for Industrial Research

  • 1940 to 1945 Industrial Fellow

Pennsylvania State University

  • 1945 to 1951 Associate Professor of Physical Metallurgy
  • 1951 to 1971 Professor of Metallurgy


Year(s) Award
1961 Proctor Memorial Award, Electroplaters Society
1966 Scientific Achievement Award, Electroplaters Society
1986 Honorary Member, The Electrochemical Society

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PDF — 235 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

6 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads