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Paul A. Wilks Jr. collection


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

Paul A. Wilks, Jr. was an engineer of scientific apparatuses and instruments for infrared spectroscopy. Wilks was born on June 16, 1923 in Springfield, Massachusetts. After graduating from Springfield Technical High School, Wilks went to Harvard University, where he majored in engineering. He graduated from Harvard University in 1944 with a bachelor's degree and began working for Perkin-Elmer, Incorporated that same year. Wilks became the marketing director of Perkin-Elmer in 1952. Wilks left Perkin-Elmer in 1957 and, along with Charles W. Warren, co-founded the Connecticut Instrument Company, which manufactured accessories for infrared spectroscopy instruments. Wilks and Warren sold their company to R. Bowling Barnes in 1962. In 1963, Wilks founded the Wilks Scientific Corporation, which manufactured a variety of spectroscopy products. The company was sold to the Foxboro Company in 1977 and Wilks managed the Wilks Division of the company until 1979. After leaving Foxboro, Wilks founded the General Analysis Corporation to market products that monitored workspace environments. The company was unable to create a market in this area and changed its focus towards producing products for other industries, such as the beverage industry. In 1983, the Joint Committee on Atomic and Molecular Physical Data started a task force on Spectral Data Portability under the direction of Wilks. The task force developed a program called JCamp-DX, which is file-format for spectroscopy, and is still in use to this day. Wilks decided to retire in 1993 and General Analysis was eventually sold to OI Corporation. While still in retirement, Wilks started another company in the 1990s, Wilks Enterprise, Incorporated. This company continued Wilks' efforts to produce applicable products based on infrared spectroscopy and other technologies. Paul A. Wilks Jr. died in Lebanon, New Hampshire on October 11, 2008.

The Paul A. Wilks Jr. Collection consists of materials created and compiled by Paul A. Wilks Jr. related to the Joint Committee on Atomic and Molecular Physical Data. Materials include internal correspondence to and from Paul Wilks Jr., news releases, meeting minutes, and handwritten notes by Wilks.

Materials related to the Joint Committee on Atomic and Molecular Physical Data collected by Paul A. Wilks, Jr.

Donated to the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) by Paul A. Wilks Jr. in 2006.

Source of acquisition--Paul A. Wilks, Jr.. Method of acquisition--gift;; Date of acquisition--2006..

Science History Institute Archives
Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.

Use Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply..

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