The Hexagon, Volume 101, Number 3, Fall 2010 Page: 56
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I IllI i II
Harry Linn Fisher
Harry Linn Fisher (1885-1961)
(1) (Chi 1945), the 69th president
(1954), the son of George Edwin
and Emma (nee Bray) Fisher, r
was born on January 19, 1885 in ,
Kingston, New York. After grad-
uation from high school, he
worked for three years so he had f
to take a year of refresher work
at the Dwight Preparatory
School in NewYork City to ready
him to attend Williams College,
where he majored in the classics
but became interested in chem
istry during his junior year. Att i
receiving his A.B. degree in 1yO i,
he obtained a scholarship ,
Columbia University, where he
earned his Ph.D. degree in 1912 under Marston Taylor Bogert
(1868-1954) (Chi '43; 28th ACS president (1907-1908)) (2) with a disser-
tation on the preparation and properties of 5-aminoquinoline-6-car-
boxylic acid and related compounds (3). He married Nellie Edna
Andrews in 1910. The couple had a son and two daughters.
Fisher served as an instructor in organic chemistry at Columbia until
1919 when he joined the B. F. Goodrich Rubber Company, Akron, Ohio,
where he worked for seven years. He next spent ten years as a research
chemist with the U.S. Rubber Company laboratories in New York and
Passaic, New Jersey. In 1936 he became director of organic research at
U.S. Industrial Chemicals until his retirement in 1950.
Fisher was appointed administrative assistant for the National
Research Council, and in November, 1951 he was appointed special
assistant to the director of the Office of Synthetic Rubber. In 1953 he
joined the University of Southern California, Los Angeles as head of the
Department of Rubber Technology and director of The Los Angeles
Rubber Group Inc. (TLARGI) Rubber Technology Foundation. As vice-
president of Ocean Minerals, he worked on methods of converting sea-
water to fresh water.
A nationally known authority on the chemistry of vulcanization,
Fisher was the author of numerous articles and several books (4), most
on the chemistry and technology of rubber, and the holder of about 50
patents in this field. He predicted that automobile tires would last for
100,000 miles and would come in colors matching the cars. During World
I he helped to develop the first synthetic rubber not prepared from a
hydrocarbon, and during World II he served as technical consultant to
the Office of the Rubber Director.
Fisher was president of the Phi Lambda Upsilon chemical fraternity
(1916-1918) and the American Institute of Chemists (1940-1942) as well
as chairman of the ACS Division of Rubber Chemistry (1928) and secre-
tary of the Division of Organic Chemistry. He was the 16th Marburg
Lecturer of the American Society for Testing and Materials (1941). He
received the Modern Pioneer Award (National Association of
Manufacturers, 1940) for developing a method for attaching rubber to
metal, the Charles Goodyear Award (ACS, 1949), and the Charles
Frederick Chandler Medal (Columbia University, 1954) for outstanding
contributions to the chemistry of synthetic rubber.
Fisher died on March 19, 1961 in Claremont, California.
1. Chem. Eng. News 1954, 32, 82; New York Times, March 21, 1961, p. 37;
Kieft, L. In American Chemists and Chemical Engineers; Miles, W. D., Ed.;
American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1976; pp. 156-157.
2. Bogert, M. T. J. Chem. Educ. 1928, 5, 378-380; Fisher, H. L. Ind. Eng.
Chem. 1933, 25, 591-592; Chem. Eng. News 1946, 24, 2029; ibid. 1954, 32,
1256-1257; New York Times, March 9, 1933, p. 16; October 10, 1936, p.15;
March 22, 1954, p. 27; Hammett, L. P. Biog. Mem. Nat. Acad. Sci. 1974,
15, 101-132; Bacon, E. K. In American Chemists and Chemical Engineers;
\liles, W. D., Ed.; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1976;
pp. 38-39; Kauffman, G. B. The HEXAGON 1997, 88(4), 64.
3. Bogert, M. T.; Fisher, H. L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1912, 34, 1569-1576.
4. Fisher, H. L. Laboratory Manual of Organic Chemistry; Wiley: New
York, 1920; Fisher, H. L. Rubber and Its Use; Chemical Publishing Co.:
New York, 1941; Fisher, H. L. The Chemistry of Natural and Synthetic
Rubbers; Reinhold: NewYork, 1957.
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