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Fritz Mindermann Papers


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

Fritz Mindermann was a German chemist. Born in Kassel, Germany on August 5, 1925, Mindermann served in the German Air Force's Signal Corps during World War II. He was taken prisoner of war by the Soviets when Germany surrendered, but was released at the end of 1945.

In 1946, Mindermann started studying chemistry at the University of Basel in Switzerland. After four semesters, he transferred to the University of Tübingen in Germany, where he studied under German chemist Georg Wittig, who later went on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1979. Mindermann completed his education under Wittig's supervision at the University of Tübingen, earning his Diploma in Chemistry (1952) and his Ph.D. in Chemistry (1953). He remained a close associate of Wittig for the rest of Wittig's life.

In 1954, Mindermann joined the research staff at J.R. Geigy Limited, a well-known Swiss chemical company. At J.R. Geigy and its corporate successor CIBA-Geigy Limited, he went on to enjoy a long and productive career. Mindermann was awarded a number of European and United States patents between the mid 1950s and early 1990s, including those for "Azo Pigments" (1958), "Copper Containing Disazo Dyestuffs of the Stilbene Series" (1959), and "Ultra-Violet Light-Absorbing Composition of Matter" (1961). He was also the author of a number of journal articles and papers.

Fritz Mindermann passed away on March 4, 2016.


Fritz Mindermann Papers, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Fritz Mindermann Papers contain materials concerning German chemist Fritz Mindermann. The materials in this collection were collected and maintained by his son Thomas Mindermann. The files in this collection are arranged alphabetically by subject and alphabetically by format. The collection's contents provide a limited amount of documentation regarding Mindermann's academic career, professional career, and his association with Nobel Prize Laureate Georg Wittig.

Fritz Mindermann's diploma dissertation and Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Tübingen are found in this collection. A reprinted excerpt from Mindermann's Ph.D. dissertation is also present in the collection. Three letters written by Georg Wittig (including one to Fritz Mindermann) and an invitation to Wittig's Nobel Prize ceremony at the University of Heidelberg are also preserved in this collection. Reprints of two articles written by Wittig (including one co-written with Mindermann) are found here as well.

The Fritz Mindermann Papers were donated to the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) by Thomas Mindermann in November 2017.

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

Collection Inventory

Fritz Mindermann – Diploma Dissertation – Die Synthese des l-Methyl-N-phenyl-isoindols und der Abbau von N-Methyl-N-phenyl-isoindolinium-jodid mit Phenyl-lithium, 1952.
Box 1 Folder 1
General Note

Contains 1 black and white image.

Fritz Mindermann – Ph.D. Dissertation – Die Darstellung des Methyl-anilino-benzo-cyclobutens und neue Isoindol-Synthesen, 1953.
Box 1 Folder 2
General Note

Contains 7 black and white images.

Fritz Mindermann – Ph.D. Dissertation Excerpt – Die Darstellung des Methyl-anilino-benzo-cyclobutens und neue Isoindol-Synthesen, 1953.
Box 1 Folder 3
Georg Wittig – Invitation – Wittig's Nobel Prize Ceremony at the University of Heidelberg, 1979.
Box 1 Folder 4
Georg Wittig – Letter to Annemarie – Thank You for Birthday Wishes, 1980 July 23.
Box 1 Folder 5
Georg Wittig – Letter to Friends and Colleagues – Thank You for Nobel Prize Congratulations, 1979 December.
Box 1 Folder 6
Georg Wittig – Letter to Fritz Mindermann – Re: Meeting in Tübingen, Germany, 1963 October 30.
Box 1 Folder 7
Georg Wittig, Gerhard Closs, and Fritz Mindermann – Article Reprint – "Über Ringerweiterung und Ringverengerung auf der Basis von Ylidisomerisationen", 1955.
Box 1 Folder 8
Georg Wittig, Heinrich Eggers, and Paul Duffner – Article Reprint – "Benzo-cycloheptatrien, Benzo-cyclooctatrien, und Benzo-cyclooctatetraen", 1958.
Box 1 Folder 9

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