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Oral history interview with Edwin J. Vandenberg

  • 1987-Sep-01

Oral history interview with Edwin J. Vandenberg

  • 1987-Sep-01

Vandenberg grew up in Hawthorne, New Jersey, where his father owned a grain and feed store. After talking about his schooling, where he learned the violin, Edwin Vandenberg recalls a friend and his home laboratory. Attending Stevens Institute of Technology, Vandenberg concentrates on chemical subjects, influenced by F. J. Pond. His first years at Hercules were with Spurlin's paper chemistry group, where he contributed to the understanding of paper sizing as a colloid phenomenon. After a spell working on the wartime production of smokeless powder, Vandenberg returns to the Hercules research center to work on a wide range of polymer syntheses, which he describes in some detail. The interview concludes with an account of his retirement activities at Arizona State University, and reflections on his family, colleagues and ACS activities.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 65 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

Herman Skolnik received a BS in chemical engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined Hercules, Inc., as a research chemist in 1942, and served as a divisional research manager from 1952 until his retirement in 1979. He was the founding editor of The Journal of Chemical Documentation, and has published over 200 papers and four books, including A Century of Chemistry, the centennial history of the American Chemical Society.

Institutional location

Oral history number 0077

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • September 13, 1918
  • Hawthorne, New Jersey, United States
  • June 11, 2005
  • Franklin, Tennessee, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1939 Stevens Institute of Technology ME

Professional Experience

Hercules Incorporated

  • 1939 to 1944 Research Chemist
  • 1946 to 1957 Research Chemist
  • 1957 to 1965 Senior Research Chemist
  • 1965 to 1982 Research Associate

Sunflower Ordinance Works

  • 1944 to 1945 Assistant Shift Supervisor

Arizona State University

  • 1983 Adjunct Professor of Chemistry
  • 1983 Visiting Professor of Chemistry


Year(s) Award
1964 Best Paper Award, Delaware Section, American Chemical Society
1965 Industrial Research 100 Award
1965 D Eng, Stevens Institute of Technology
1979 Delaware Section Award, American Chemical Society
1981 Award in Polymer Chemistry
1983 Polymer Chemistry Division Service Award
1991 Award in Applied Polymer Science

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PDF — 240 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

3 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads