October 22, 1902–December 15, 1984
BY JOHN D.CORBETT
FRANK HAROLD SPEDDING is recognized and honored for the impact he had on understanding of spectra of the rare-earth elements; for the major leadership and scientific role he played in important process development and production of pure metals during the war, especially uranium and thorium; for the separation of the rare-earth elements and provision of them as high-quality salts and metals; for major scientific studies of many aspects of the chemistry and physics of rare-earth compounds; for the establishment of a national Ames Laboratory for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (now Department of Energy).
Frank Harold Spedding was born on October 22, 1902, in Hamilton, Ontario, to Howard Leslie Spedding and Mary Ann Elizabeth (Marshall) Spedding. Soon after his birth the family moved to southeastern Michigan and then to Chicago. In 1918 they moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his father set up shop as a photographer. Spedding matriculated at the University of Michigan in the fall of 1920, from which he subsequently received a B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1925 and an M.S. degree in analytical chemistry in 1926. From there he went to the University of California, Berkeley, from which he obtained a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1929 under Professor Gilbert N.Lewis.