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Foil A. Miller Photograph 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

Foil A. Miller was born in Aurora, Illinois in 1916 and received his B.S. from Hamline University in 1937, followed by a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University in 1942. Miller's 55-year career in molecular spectroscopy effectively began at John Hopkins, where he studied infrared spectroscopy and worked with Richard C. Lord on the development of a Raman spectroscope. Following his graduation from Johns Hopkins, Miller undertook postdoc studies with Bryce L. Crawford at the University of Minnesota and taught physical chemistry at the University of Illinois from 1944 to 1948. Miller re-located to Pittsburgh in 1948 to join the staff of the Mellon Institute as head of the Spectroscopy Division and became active in both the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh and the Society of Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh. Through these societies, Miller helped organize the first Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (PITTCON) in 1950 and remained active in PITTCON throughout his career. In the wake of the Mellon Institute's 1967 merger with the Carnegie Institute of Technology to form Carnegie-Mellon University, Miller joined the University of Pittsburgh as a Professor of Chemistry and later served as the head of the University's Spectroscopy Laboratory. Over the course of his career, Miller received numerous awards, including the Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award (1964), the Pittsburgh Award of the American Chemical Society (1965), and the Hasler Award of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (1973), as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship for study in Zurich (1957) and visiting professorships in Japan (1977) and Brazil (1980). Miller retired from Pitt in 1981 and devoted his retirement to collecting stamps concerning chemistry and physics and serving as a member of the Bolton Society since 2000.

For a more detailed inventory, please view this record in our online library catalog:

This collection consists of black and white and color photographs and slides of Miller's colleagues in the field of infrared spectroscopy from the 1950s through the 1990s. Many of the photographs were taken at various PITTCON and Gordon Research Conferences and notable subjects include Richard C. Lord (MIT), Bryce L. Crawford (University of Minnesota), and R. Norman Jones (National Research Council, Ottawa), as well as Miller himself. The collection also includes several photographs of recipients of the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh award, as well as the presentation of the first Coblentz Society Award in 1964. International colleagues, such as G.B.B.M. Sutherland (England), Reinhart Mecke (Germany), and Dusan Hadzi (Yugoslavia), are well-represented in the slides, which were taken by Miller himself.

Gift of Foil A. Miller, 2013.

Processed by Hillary S. Kativa in 2015. Object identificaiton numbers were assigned to individual photographs and slides.

Science History Institute Archives
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Finding aid created by Hillary S. Kativa and encoded into EAD by Melanie Grear.
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Access Restrictions

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

Use Restrictions

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