Main content

George S. Hammond 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

George S. Hammond was a prominent American chemist and chemistry professor. Born in Auburn, Maine on May 22, 1921, Hammond received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Bates College in 1943. After graduating from Bates, he briefly worked as a research assistant at Rohm & Haas Company, but soon left to attend graduate school. Hammond earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1947. After receiving his doctorate, he served as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles (1947-1948).

In 1948, Hammond joined the faculty at Iowa State College (now Iowa State University), where he served as Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1948-1951) and Associate Professor of Chemistry (1951-1958). He was subsequently hired away from Iowa State by the California Institute of Technology, where he held the titles of Professor of Organic Chemistry (1958-1964) and Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry (1964-1972). In 1972, Hammond moved to the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he served as Vice Chancellor of Sciences (1972-1975) and Professor of Chemistry (1972-1978).

Hammond left academia in 1978 when he was hired as Associate Director of Research, Physical, & Organic Chemistry by Allied Chemical Corporation (now Allied Signal Corporation). He rose through the firm's research hierarchy, eventually reaching the rank of Executive Director of Biosciences, Metals, and Ceramics Laboratories. Hammond retired from Allied Signal Corporation in 1987, but continued to work as a chemical industry consultant for a number of years. He also served as a part-time Visiting Professor of Chemistry at Bowling Green State University, Georgetown University, and Portland State University.

Hammond mainly conducted research on physical organic chemistry, free radicals, and mechanisms of organic reactions. He was best known for formulating the Hammond Postulate (published in 1955), in which he described the geometric structure of the transition state in an organic chemical reaction. He was also noted for his research on photochemistry.

Hammond was the recipient of a number of awards, including the Priestly Medal (1976), the National Medal of Science (1994), and the Othmer Gold Medal (2003). He was also an active member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Chemical Society. He was also the author of numerous journal articles and papers.

George S. Hammond passed away on October 5, 2005.


George S. Hammond Collection, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The George S. Hammond Collection contains materials concerning American chemist and chemistry professor George S. Hammond. The materials in this collection were collected and maintained by Hammond's long-time associate Richard G. Weiss. The files in this collection are arranged alphabetically by format. The materials in this collection concern Hammond's life and professional career. The collection's contents consist of the following three items: a copy of Hammond's self-published autobiography My Story, Thus Far, a small photo album presented to Hammond for his 50th birthday by his colleagues at the California Institute of Technology's Department of Chemistry, and a copy of the publicationRecollections of George S. Hammond.

The George S. Hammond Collection was donated to the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) by Richard G. Weiss in October 2017.

The George S. Hammond Collection was processed by Kenton G. Jaehnig in March 2018.

Science History Institute Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid created 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 George S. Hammond Collection. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Collection Inventory

Book – George S. Hammond – My Story, Thus Far, 1996.
Box 1 Folder 1
General Note

Presented to Richard G. Weiss by George S. Hammond.

Photo Album – For your birthday with best wishes from your group, 1971 May.
Box 1 Folder 2
General Note

Presented to George S. Hammond by his colleagues at the California Institute of Technology's Department of Chemistry.

General Note

Contains 16 color images.

Publication – Recollections of George S. Hammond – Letters of Anecdotes, Rememberances, and Tall Stories from His Students and Associates, 1990 March 24.
Box 1 Folder 3

Print, Suggest