Oral history interview with Robert J. Manning

Oral history interview with Robert J. Manning

  • 2002-Feb-19

Robert J. Manning begins the interview with a brief sketch of his educational background. In 1948, after graduating with a M.S. in chemistry from the University of Missouri in Kansas City, Manning spent time in the United States Navy researching rocket fuel. From there Manning obtained a position at Beckman Instruments, Inc., where he remained until his retirement in 1986. Working in the application engineering department at Beckman, Manning gravitated toward infrared instrumentation, and eventually became the national president for the Society of Applied Spectroscopy. Having spent thirty-three years at Beckman Instruments, Manning has a valuable wealth of knowledge about nuances in development of landmark instruments from Beckman, which he details throughout the interview. In 1960, Manning moved his family to Chicago where he started an applications laboratory at Beckman's offices there. Manning moved back to California in 1963 to enjoy his new position as product line manager of ultraviolet instruments, before returning to the laboratory, where he would spend the rest of his career. Education and information sharing were paramount to Manning, and he traveled the country educating people about spectroscopy, via workshops, lecture series, and summer courses at various universities. Manning concludes the interview with reflections on his career and home life.

Place of interview
Original file type MP3, PDF
  • 30 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Related URL
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Physical location


Cite as

Robert J. Manning, interviewed by David C. Brock in Fullerton, California on February 19, 2002. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0239. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/pz50gx11n.

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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

4 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads