Papers of Eugene G. Rochow
Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Eugene G. Rochow was an American inorganic chemist and a noted expert on organosilicon chemistry. Born in Newark, New Jersey on October 4, 1909, Rochow earned his B.S. in Chemistry (1931) and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University (1935). After earning his Ph.D., he went to work at Hotpoint Company, a subsidiary of General Electric Company, where he served as a Research Chemist (1935-1948).
At General Electric, Rochow conducted research on periclase. He also produced ethyl phenyl silicone, which Corning Glass Works had also just produced, for use as an insulator. While working at General Electric, Rochow also discovered how to produce methyl silicone. Working with Charles E. Reed, he developed a way to manufacture methyl silicone using fluid-bed catalysis. Now called the Direct Process or the Muller-Rochow Process, this method allows for production of organosilicons on an industrial scale. Later in his tenure at General Electric, Rochow conducted research on nuclear fission as a source of domestic energy.
In accordance with his Quaker beliefs, Rochow left General Electric in 1948 when the firm agreed to work on nuclear propulsion for naval vessels. That same year, he joined the faculty of Harvard University's Chemistry Department, where he enjoyed a distinguished academic career. Over the course of his tenure at Harvard, he rose through the Chemistry Department's ranks, serving as Associate Professor (1948-1951) and Professor (1951-1970). Rochow retired from Harvard in 1970 and maintained his association with the university as Professor Emeritus for many years afterwards (1970-1996).
Eugene G. Rochow authored several books and numerous journal articles over the course of his career. He was also awarded thirty-eight United States patents. Rochow was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Society of Chemical Industry's Perkin Medal (1962) and the German Chemical Society's Alfred Stock Medal (1983). He also received honorary doctorates from the Carolo-Wilhelmina Universitat Braunschweig (1966) and the Technische Universitat Dresden (1992).
Eugene G. Rochow passed away in Fort Myers, Florida on March 21, 2002.
Norcera, Daniel, Charles Lieber, and Dudley Herschbach. "Eugene Rochow, 92." The Harvard Gazette. May 2, 2018. - Eugene Rochow, 92 – Harvard Gazette
Oral History Interview with Eugene G. Rochow, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Oral history interview with Eugene G. Rochow - Science History Institute Digital Collections
Papers of Eugene G. Rochow, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Papers of Eugene G. Rochow contain the personal papers of American inorganic chemist Eugene G. Rochow. The materials in this collection provide an overview of Rochow's life and professional career. The collection is arranged into the following seven series:
- Personal Information
The Papers of Eugene G. Rochow were donated to the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) by Eugene G. Rochow in September 2000.
The Papers of Eugene G. Rochow were processed by Stephen Kimball in November 2017.
- American Cyanamid Company
- Dow Corning Corporation
- General Electric Company
- Harvard University. Chemistry Department
- Science History Institute Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid created by Stephen Kimball and encoded into EAD by Kenton G. Jaehnig.
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.
- Use Restrictions
The Science History Institute holds copyright to the Papers of Eugene G. Rochow. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.
Arranged chronologically by year, this series contains Eugene G. Rochow's Awards files. The files in this series concern several awards received by Rochow over the course of his career, including the Perkin Medal and the Alfred Stock Medal.
The contents of these files consist of a variety of materials, including, but not limited to, correspondence, award ceremony programs, speech manuscripts, articles, and speech notes.
Arranged chronologically by year, this series contains Eugene G. Rochow's Books/Articles files. The files in this series concern books and journal articles authored by Rochow, including his 1987 book Silicon and Silicones: About Stone-Age Tools, Antique Pottery, Modern Ceramics, Computers, Space Materials, and How They Got That Way.
The contents of these files include articles, article reprints, correspondence, illustrations, article manuscripts, and notes.
Arranged alphabetically by subject, this series contains Eugene G. Rochow's personal and professional correspondence files. The files in this series include correspondence concerning the Chemical Heritage Foundation (now called the Science History Institute), employment inquiries, fellowships, and professional recommendations.
Arranged chronologically by year, this series contains Eugene G. Rochow's Lectures files. The files in this series concern several lectures presented by Eugene G. Rochow between 1956 and 1994.
The contents of these files include lecture notes, lecture manuscripts, correspondence, an article reprint, and a newsletter.
Arranged alphabetically by subject, this series contains Eugene G. Rochow's Personal Information files. These files contain biographical information about Rochow and a limited amount of information regarding some of his travels.
The contents of these files include a manuscript of his autobiography, biographical notes, correspondence, and a press release manuscript. Color photographs, photocopied photographs, maps, brochures, and passports belonging to Eugene G. Rochow and his wife Helen Rochow are preserved here as well.
Arranged chronologically by year, this series contains Eugene G. Rochow's Symposia files. The files in this series concern several symposia at which Rochow presented addresses, including the International Symposium on Organosilicon Chemistry (ISOC) and the Conference on Silicon for the Chemical Industry (SCI).
The contents of the Symposia files consist of a variety of materials, including, but not limited to, correspondence, Rochow's address typescripts, symposia brochures, and photocopied photographs.
Arranged in its original order, this series consists of Eugene G. Rochow's Work/Research files. The files in this series provide a limited amount of documentation regarding Rochow's research and professional activities, including his research on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and germanium, and patent cases involving his inventions.
The contents of these files include two notebooks, correspondence, photographs, an article manuscript, photocopied U.S. Patent Quarterly pages, a report, and a chemical compound card.