Arnold Orville Beckman Facts

Arnold Orville Beckman Facts
Arnold Orville Beckman (April 10, 1900 to May 18, 2004) was a chemist and inventor from the US. He was also known for his charity work and investment prowess.
Interesting Arnold Orville Beckman Facts:
Beckman was born in a tiny farming community in Illinois, and from an early age had a keen interest in science, especially chemistry.
His blacksmith father allowed him to convert some space in the toolshed into a space to experiment and tinker with ideas.
After his mother's death and his father's acceptance of a traveling sales job, Beckman remained home with a housekeeper and took odd jobs in his town, including operating the centrifuge at a business in town.
Besides his work running his own company-Bloomington Research Laboratories, which analyzed samples for the gas company-Beckman was also an accomplished pianist and played for local venues.
He graduated from University High School in Normal, Illinois, as valedictorian of his class after having already begun taking college chemistry classes under Howard Adams.
He was given permission to leave school early to join the war effort in World War I as a chemist, then he enlisted in the Marines once he turned eighteen.
Beckman had several narrow misses that would have sent him overseas, but due to counting or clerical errors he and his unit were never sent. The armistice was signed shortly after Beckman finished boot camp.
He returned to Illinois to attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but he and another student became ill from exposure due to their research on mercury compounds.
After earning his bachelor's degree in 1922 and his Master's degree in 1923, Beckman and his wife Mabel moved to California where he earned his doctorate at Caltech and later became a professor.
Beckman made a number of significant contributions to various fields, all thanks to his study of chemistry.
He invented the inking process for postal meters that printed the postage directly onto the envelope or package by using butyric acid.
No one wanted to work with butyric acid, so once again, Beckman formed a company, the National Inking Appliance Company.
He also developed and patented re-inking typewriter ribbons within this same company.
Through a request for help from Sunkist Growers, the fruit company, Beckman developed a machine for testing the acidity of lemons that were to be produced into pectin.
The resulting pH meter is considered one of the greatest pieces of technology in chemistry.
Beckman patented the device after it was so useful at Sunkist, and then developed a version of it that could be used even by non-chemists.
He later went on to develop the spectrophotometer, which has been called the greatest invention in the field of bioscience.
Beckman and his wife became some of the most widely recognized philanthropists in the country following his retirement.


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