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Oral history interview with Elkan Blout, 1991 May 30 , 2002 September 13 and November 22 Preview this item
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Oral history interview with Elkan Blout, 1991 May 30 , 2002 September 13 and November 22

Author: E R Blout; James J Bohning; Arnold Thackray; Chemical Heritage Foundation.
Series: Chemical Heritage Foundation Oral History Transcript, 0263; Chemical Heritage Foundation Oral History Transcript, 0095
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Elkan R. Blout begins the interview with a description of his family and childhood. Growing up in Manhattan as an only child, Blout was cared for by his parents, aunts, and uncles. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School, in the Bronx, earning marks that were high enough to skip three grades. Blout was still too young to attend college when he graduated, so he enrolled in the Philips Exeter Academy. The school was  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Oral histories
Interviews
Biography
Named Person: E R Blout; R B Woodward; Edwin Herbert Land
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: E R Blout; James J Bohning; Arnold Thackray; Chemical Heritage Foundation.
OCLC Number: 76937844
Notes: Interview conducted by James J. Bohning at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School.
Description: Sound recordings ; cassettes Transcript : (64 leaves) ; 29 cm.
Series Title: Chemical Heritage Foundation Oral History Transcript, 0263; Chemical Heritage Foundation Oral History Transcript, 0095
Other Titles: Elkan Blout oral history interview.
More information:

Abstract:

Elkan R. Blout begins the interview with a description of his family and childhood. Growing up in Manhattan as an only child, Blout was cared for by his parents, aunts, and uncles. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School, in the Bronx, earning marks that were high enough to skip three grades. Blout was still too young to attend college when he graduated, so he enrolled in the Philips Exeter Academy. The school was tough both scholastically and socially, but he made it through by attending his classes regularly, and playing bridge. After a year at Exeter, Blout attended Princeton University, becoming one of only twelve Jewish students accepted in 1935. As a Jewish student, Blout struggled against discrimination from both the University and the students. He graduated in 1939, and married Joan E. Dreyfus that same year. In 1942, Blout received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University. He then accepted a fellowship at Harvard University, where he worked with Louis Feiser and R. B. Woodward. After a year, Edwin H. Land offered Blout a position at the Polaroid Company. At Polaroid, he helped develop the instant photographic process and the color translating microscope. At the same time, he received a research grant to study synthetic polypeptides, and established a spectroscopy laboratory at Children's Hospital of Boston. In 1961, Blout left Polaroid for more academic pursuits at Harvard Medical School. During his long, fruitful relationship with Harvard University, Blout has done much to improve both Harvard's Medical School and Harvard's School of Public Health. In 1984, Blout divorced Joan Dreyfus and married Gail Ferris. In 1991, Blout became the senior science advisor for the Food and Drug Administration. Blout concludes the interview by expressing gratitude for the John Philips Award, which he was awarded in 1998.

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