Digital Collections

Oral history interview with Claude K. Deischer

  • 1984-Apr-27

Oral history interview with Claude K. Deischer

  • 1984-Apr-27

In this interview, Claude K. Deischer discusses his life and his career as a chemist and historian of chemistry. Initially, Deischer recollects his childhood and early education. He then speaks about his undergraduate education at Kutztown State and Muhlenberg and his graduate and postgraduate research at the University of Pennsylvania. A discussion of his early teaching at Penn, his initial interest in the history of science, and the Smith Collection follows. Deischer then appraises his scholarly activities during and after World War II and his department and students. The interview concludes with Deischer considering the part that he played in starting Chymia, and his contributions to the American Chemical Society and the Moravian Church.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 26 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

John A. Heitmann holds a BS degree in chemistry from Davidson College and an MA degree in history from Clemson University. From 1971 to 1977, he worked as a chemist in the metallurgical industry. He then studied at the Johns Hopkins University under Owen Hannaway and received his doctorate in the history of science in 1983.

Institutional location

Oral history number 0001

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • October 14, 1903
  • Emmaus, Pennsylvania, United States
  • March 23, 1992
  • Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1925 Muhlenberg College BS Chemistry
1928 University of Pennsylvania MS Chemistry
1933 University of Pennsylvania PhD Chemistry

Professional Experience

University of Pennsylvania

  • 1928 to 1971 Instructor to Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
  • 1952 to 1965 Assistant Chairman of Chemistry Department
  • 1955 to 1971 Acting Curator, E.F. Smith Memorial Library
  • 1971 Emeritus Professor

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PDF — 1.7 MB

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

4 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads