Oral history interview with Russell E. Marker

Oral history interview with Russell E. Marker

  • 1987-Apr-17

Russell Marker begins the interview by describing his childhood in a farming community in Maryland, his early schooling, and his growing interest in organic chemistry while a student at the University of Maryland. He then talks about his first jobs at the Naval Powder Factory and the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation, where he devised the octane rating system. Marker then discusses his subsequent move to the Rockefeller Institute. He elaborates on his interest in synthesizing human hormones from plants, resulting in a fellowship at Penn State and his first travels to Mexico to examine indigenous plant life. Marker then describes his laboratory work and business ventures in Mexico, including his role in forming the companies Syntex and Botanica-Mex. Marker concludes by discussing his leaving chemical research and newfound interest in silver reproduction.

Place of interview
Original file type MP3, PDF
  • 45 pages
Rights In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Related URL
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Physical location


Cite as

Russell Earl Marker, interviewed by Sturchio, Jeffrey L. (Jeffrey Louis) in Pennsylvania State University on April 17, 1987. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0068. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/n009w3353.

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Transcript (Published Version)

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