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Oral history interview with Herman Mark 1986 February 3, March 17, and June 20

Author: H F Mark; James J Bohning; Jeffrey L Sturchio; Chemical Heritage Foundation.
Series: Chemical Heritage Foundation Oral History Transcript, 0030
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this first of three interviews Herman Mark starts with his study of relatively stable free radicals under the direction of Wilhelm Schlenk, first in Vienna and then in Berlin. After a post doctural period at the University of Berlin, Mark was invited by Haber to join the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute at Dahlem. There, Mark collaborated with Polanyi and other colleagues in using x-ray diffraction to establish the
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Genre/Form: Oral histories
Interviews
Biography
Named Person: H F Mark; Fritz Haber; Kurt H Meyer; Wallace Hume Carothers; Turner Alfrey
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: H F Mark; James J Bohning; Jeffrey L Sturchio; Chemical Heritage Foundation.
OCLC Number: 709782520
Notes: Interview conducted by James J. Bohning and Jeffrey L. Sturchio at Polytechnic University.
Description: Sound files ; mp3 file Transcript : (117 leaves) ; 29 cm.
Series Title: Chemical Heritage Foundation Oral History Transcript, 0030
Other Titles: Herman Mark oral history interview.

Abstract:

In this first of three interviews Herman Mark starts with his study of relatively stable free radicals under the direction of Wilhelm Schlenk, first in Vienna and then in Berlin. After a post doctural period at the University of Berlin, Mark was invited by Haber to join the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute at Dahlem. There, Mark collaborated with Polanyi and other colleagues in using x-ray diffraction to establish the crystal structures of small organic molecules and metals. This work as extended to naturally occurring organic materilas such as cellulose and silk. As a consequence, Mark was able to play an important role at the critical 1926 meeting in Dusseldorf, which brought together Staudinger and the opponents of the macromolecular hypothesis.

Mark's next move was to I.G. Farben, where he established a polymer laboratory. That was also where he first collaborated with Kurt Meyer, with whom he published the pioneering x--ray crystallographic structure of cellulose. Mark describes the laboratories, research directions, and colleagues during his stay at Ludwigshafen. The worsening political climate in Germany prompted Mark to accept a chair at his alma mater. Back in Vienna, he set up the first comprehensive polymer research and teaching institute. Mark concludes this interview by describing the circumstances of an approach from the Canadian International paper Company and his decision to leave Austria.

The Second interview details his experiences in the Canadian paper industry and his early ventures into publishing with the first of the Polymer Monograph series. Mark explains how he was able to resume an academic career by starting the polymer program at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute which soon would become world renowned. Mark tells of his part in the formation of the literature of polymer science and technology: journals, monographs, reference books and encyclopedias. Finally Mark refers to his more recent research interests and describes the changes in research funding that have taken place during the past four decades.

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