Oral history interview with James A. Fisher

Oral history interview with James A. Fisher

  • 2001-Dec-19

James A. Fisher begins the interview with a description of his family and early years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating early from Yale University because of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Fisher secured a position in a smelter plant making aluminum for warplanes at Alcoa Inc. In 1945, Fisher left Alcoa to work for his father, Chester G. Fisher, at the family business, Fisher Scientific International Inc. While at Fisher Scientific, Fisher became fascinated with his father's collection of alchemical art. Fisher's interest grew to the extent that he began to purchase paintings, engravings, and photographs relating to alchemy to add to the growing Fisher Collection. After the death of his father, Fisher was instrumental in the creation of the Fisher Museum, which was used to display the Fisher Collection, and the Pasteur Room, which was dedicated to the achievements of Louis Pasteur. Fisher concludes the interview with reflections on his role in the donation of the Fisher Collection to the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Place of interview
Original file type PDF, MP3
  • 40 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

Fisher, James A. (James Aiken), interviewed by Lloyd DeWitt in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 19, 2001. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0229. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/xg94hq476.

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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

4 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads