Oral history interview with Calvin S. Fuller

Oral history interview with Calvin S. Fuller

  • 1986-Apr-29

In this interview Dr. Fuller traces his early years and the development of his interests in radio and in chemistry. Encouraged by an outstanding high school teacher, Fuller won a scholarship to the University of Chicago. Economic pressures forced him to break studies for periods of employment in the analytical laboratories of the General Chemical Company and as a photoengraver at the Chicago Tribune, but Fuller persists and completes his doctorate under W. D. Harkins. Dr. Fuller enlivens the interview with recollections of Harkins and Julius Stieglitz. Appointment as a research chemist under R.R. Williams at Bell Laboratories introduces Calvin Fuller to the infant science of synthetic polymers and to xray crystallography. World War II sees Fuller in Washington, D.C., heading polymer chemistry research as part of the synthetic rubber program. On return to Bell Laboratories after the war, Fuller decides to move to solid state chemistry and describes his work on semiconductors, leading to the development of the photovoltaic cell.

Place of interview
Original file type PDF, MP3
  • 55 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

Fuller, Calvin S., (Souther), interviewed by James J. Bohning in Vero Beach, Florida on April 29, 1986. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0020. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/tt44pn64c.

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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