Digital Collections

Oral history interview with Charles D. Hurd

  • 1991-Feb-28

Oral history interview with Charles D. Hurd

  • 1991-Feb-28

Charles Hurd begins his oral history by discussing his early life and his later educational and professional experiences, including his Ph.D. work in organic chemistry at Princeton University and his summer job in Thomas Edison's laboratory. Hurd was recruited to Northwestern University by Frank Whitmore and remained there for his entire career, while consulting for various companies. Hurd reflects on his research, teaching and creation of Molecular Models as a teaching tool, and the negative public perception of chemical industry.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 63 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 0090

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • May 07, 1897
  • Utica, New York, United States
  • September 11, 1998
  • Evanston, Illinois, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1918 Syracuse University BS Chemistry
1921 Princeton University PhD Organic Chemistry

Professional Experience

Thomas A. Edison

  • 1917

United States. Army

  • 1918 Chemical Service Section

University of Illinois at Chicago

  • 1921 to 1924 Chemistry Department, Instructor

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)

  • 1924 to 1928 Assistant Professor
  • 1928 to 1933 Associate Professor
  • 1933 to 1949 Professor
  • 1951 to 1965 Morrison Professor
  • 1951 to 1965 Clare Hamilton Hall Research Professor
  • 1965 Hamilton Hall Research Professor, Emeritus


Year(s) Award
1943 ScD, honorary, Syracuse University
1958 Midwest Award, American Chemical Society, St. Louis Section
1971 Austin M. Patterson Award, American Chemical Society
1974 Honorary membership, Illinois State Academy of Science
1978 Distinguished Service Award, American Chemical Society, Chicago Section

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PDF — 244 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