The second interview begins with Arnold Beckman describing the National Technical Laboratories in the late 1930s. He details NTL policies and operations. The majority of the transcript focuses on the change from NTL to Beckman Instruments and the development of spectrophotometry instrumentation during the 1940s. The other projects that are discussed include mass spectrometers, Geiger counters, pocket electroscopes, and especially the oxygen analyzer. A description of Beckman's reinvolvement with Caltech following World War II follows this section. Finally, the interview concludes with Beckman examining air pollution work in Los Angeles, the formation of Shockley Laboratories, and the future of the instrumentation industry.
Jeffrey L. Sturchio is president and CEO of the Global Health Council. Previously he served as vice president of corporate responsibility at Merck & Co., president of the Merck Company Foundation, and chairman of the U.S. Corporate Council on Africa. Sturchio is currently a visiting scholar at the Institute for Applied Economics and the Study of Business Enterprise at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Healthy Next Generation of the World Economic Forum. He received an AB in history from Princeton University and a PhD in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania.
Arnold Thackray founded the Chemical Heritage Foundation and served the organization as president for 25 years. He is currently CHF’s chancellor. Thackray received MA and PhD degrees in history of science from Cambridge University. He has held appointments at Cambridge, Oxford University, and Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1983 Thackray received the Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry. He served for more than a quarter century on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the founding chairman of the Department of History and Sociology of Science and is currently the Joseph Priestley Professor Emeritus.
See our FAQ page to learn how to cite an oral history.