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Portrait of John Schaefgen
Science History Institute Collections

Oral history interview with John R. Schaefgen

  • 1986-Apr-03

Oral history interview with John R. Schaefgen

  • 1986-Apr-03

In this interview John Schaefgen begins with his family history and early life in Gross Point, Illinois. He then discusses the development of his interest in science, and describes his education, including his professors and fellow students at Northwestern University and Ohio State University. In the central portion of the interview, Schaefgen considers his association with Paul Flory at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and recalls his move to the Pioneering Research Laboratory at Du Pont. He then describes his interests and accomplishments in polymer chemistry. The interview concludes with a discussion of his colleagues, professional society activities, and views on the characteristics of innovative research.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 41 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

Raymond C. Ferguson obtained his degrees in chemistry from Iowa State University (BS, MS) and Harvard University (PhD). He worked in research divisions of the Organic Chemicals, Elastomer Chemicals, and Central Research Departments of DuPont, principally in molecular spectroscopy, organic structure analysis, and polymer characterization. Currently he is affiliated with CONDUX, Inc., a consulting association of former DuPont professionals.

Institutional location

Oral history number 0041

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • April 09, 1918
  • Wilmette, Illinois, United States
  • September 13, 2014
  • Wilmington, Delaware, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1940 Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) BS Chemistry
1944 Ohio State University PhD Physical Organic Chemistry

Professional Experience

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

  • 1944 to 1951 Research Chemist

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company

  • 1951 to 1952 Research chemist
  • 1952 to 1977 Research Associate
  • 1977 to 1982 Research Fellow

ELJAY Associates, Inc.

  • 1983 Consultant

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PDF — 289 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

4 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads