Frank C. Whitmore papers, 1908-1954

725

Collection Overview

Title:
Frank C. Whitmore papers
Dates (Inclusive):
1908-1954
Creator:
Whitmore, Frank C. (Frank Clifford)
Abstract:
This collection of the Penn State chemistry professor Frank C. Whitmore documents his research and teaching. Items include correspondence, minutes, surveys and class materials.
Collection Number:
725
Size:
70 Linear Feet
Location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the  library catalog.
Repository:
Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University.
Languages:
English

Biographical Note

Frank C. Whitmore (1887-1947) was an international authority on the phases of organic chemistry, especially aliphatic and hydrocarbon chemistry and molecular rearrangements. Whitmore completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees studies while at Harvard University, and received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1914. Four universities awarded him honorary Doctor of Science degrees: Franklin and Marshall (1947); the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy (1943); Allegheny (1938); University of Delaware (1937). He taught at Williams College (1916-1917), the Rice Institute (1917-1918), the University of Minnesota (1918-1920), and Northwestern University (1920-1929). In 1929 he was appointed Dean of the School of Chemistry and Physics at Penn State University, where Whitmore remained a member of the faculty until 1947. In 1932 Whitmore developed the concept of carbocation, with his later research providing the first explanation of carbocation rearrangements. During World War I he worked at the Rice Institute researching poisonous gases and mercury compounds. In 1938, he was awarded the William H. Nichols Medal for outstanding chemical work. The American Chemical Society elected him president in 1938. The highest chemical honor in the nation, the Willard Gibbs Medal, was awarded him in 1945. During World War II he worked on super-explosives, the synthesis of anti-malarials, and the production of penicillin; he also organized and supervised a group of 35 instructors for the Army Specialized Training and Navy V-12 programs at Penn State. He died on June 24, 1947 at the age of 59. Funeral services were held at Schwab Auditorium with more than 500 students, faculty members and other professional associates attending. In addition to publishing more than 200 scientific and technical papers, he was the author of two books, Organic Compounds of Mercury (1921) and Organic Chemistry (1937). In 1953, Penn State's Whitmore Laboratory was named after Whitmore.

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Scope and Contents

This collection features the correspondence, articles, research reports and federal grants of Penn State chemist Frank C. Whitmore. Items included are notes, memos, publications, addresses, awards, diplomas, certificates, student reports, news clippings, reprints and photographs, and photocopies of the scrapbook, Archives of the Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University (1921-1928).

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged to the floowing 13 series: Administrative records (1923-1947); Chemical companies (1917-1947); Curriculum (1910-1947); Correspondence (1923-1953); Honors/Awards (1912-1947); Personal (1909-1954); Portraits (undated); Professional associations (1923-1947); Publications (1915-1952; 1989); Research (1920-1947); Speeches (1926-1945); Student papers and record (1915-1954); and War efforts (1938-1948).

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Personnel files are restricted for 72 years or until the death of the individual. Access to student files are restricted for the life of the individual, in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Frank C. Whitmore papers, PSUA 725, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection acquired from multiple sources between 1969-2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Scrapbooks

Personal Name(s)

  • Whitmore, Frank C. (Frank Clifford)

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Collection Inventory

Click associated checkboxes to select items to request. When you have finished, click the Submit Request button.

Access Restrictions

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