Oral history interview with Arnold O. Beckman

Oral history interview with Arnold O. Beckman

  • 1985-Apr-23

This interview, the first of several with Arnold Beckman conducted by the Chemical Heritage Foundation, begins with a discussion of Beckman's teenage experience as an industrial chemist at a local gas works in Bloomington, Illinois, and the Keystone Iron and Steel Works. A recollection of Beckman's student days at the University of Illinois, with special emphasis on some of the faculty and students, follows next. The central portion of the interview considers Beckman as a student and faculty member at Caltech and includes his early experiences with instrumentation, patents, and serving as an expert witness. The interview continues with Beckman discussing the origin of the pH meter and DU spectrophotometer, and concludes with the beginning stages of manufacturing and sales, emphasizing the principles used to build National Technical Laboratories, the company that would become Beckman Instruments.

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

Physical location


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Cite as

Arnold O. Beckman, interviewed by Arnold Thackray in University of Pennsylvania on April 23, 1985. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0014A. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/sx61dn215.

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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

5 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads