Biographical Memoirs

VOLUME 65



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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 Biographical Memoirs VOLUME 65

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 WILDER DWIGHT BANCROFT October 1, 1867-February 7, 1953 BY JOHN W. SERVOS WILDER DWIGHT BANCROFT, although little known today, was one of America's best-known physical chemists during the early twentieth century and among the founders of that specialty in the United States. A pupil of Wilhelm Ostwald and J. H. van't Hoff, Bancroft brought to America a firsthand knowledge of the "Ionists"' teachings about electrolytic dissociation, osmotic pressure, and electromotive force at a time when those teachings were still new and controversial. In America, he became an apostle for the study and application of the phase rule of J. Willard Gibbs and, later, an enthusiastic and sometimes erratic advocate of the study of colloid chemistry. At Cornell, where Bancroft taught from 1895 to 1937, he helped educate scores of chemists and took a leading role in founding the Journal of Physical Chemistry, the first English-language journal in its field. As its owner and editor from 1896 to 1933, Bancroft brought a sharp wit and shrewd judgment to bear on the work of his colleagues through hundreds of reviews and review articles. Although he earned enemies through his editorializing, even the victims of his criticism often found it impossible to resist his personal charm. He served two terms as president of the Electrochemical Society and, in 1910, he was elected president of the American Chemical Society.

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 For a chemist of his accomplishments, Bancroft viewed his career with surprising diffidence. At the twenty-fifth anniversary of his Harvard class Bancroft told former classmates that he "had worked hard" but had "much less to show for it than I expected"; as if a professorship at Cornell and the presidency of the American Chemical Society were gentlemen C's on the Bancroft scale. Entwined with this ambition, and sometimes frustrating it, were threads of iconoclasm and stubbornness. By the time he retired, much of the diffidence had turned to bitterness. "Owing to my lifelong habit of being a minority of one on all occasions,'' he wrote to his Harvard classmates in 1937, "my research work does not look convincing to most people. Since I have become avowedly a specialist in unorthodox ideas in the last decade the situation is getting worse, because now I irritate more people.''1 Both his high expectations and his taste for the unorthodox were traits long present among Bancrofts. Aaron Bancroft, Wilder Bancroft's great-grandfather and the author of a popular life of George Washington, threw over the rigid Calvinism of his youth to become a leader in the Unitarian movement during the early nineteenth century. Wilder Bancroft's grandfather was George Bancroft, the diplomat and cabinet member who is best remembered today for his magisterial history of the United States. Whereas Aaron Bancroft had renounced New England's established theology, George renounced its established political traditions. Surrounded by Whigs, he joined the Democratic party of Jackson and Van Buren and rose to prominence in its national councils. While holding a succession of responsible positions in government and pursuing his passion for history, Aaron Bancroft made a tidy fortune through an advantageous marriage and shrewd investments. Wilder Bancroft's personality and career are best understood in

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 the light of these forebears. Like his great-grandfather and grandfather, he was adept with the pen; like them, he believed learning was linked to action—that a scholar could and should mix in the world of practical affairs; and like them, he took pride in playing the role of dissenter in an established community.2 Of Wilder Bancroft's father, John Chandler Bancroft, much less can be said. Lacking the discipline and talents of Aaron or George, he compiled a poor record at Harvard and failed in a succession of pursuits, legal, artistic, and commercial. Unable to succeed on his own, John spent much of his adult life in the orbit of his famous father, depending upon him for money and eventually for shelter. John's first wife, Louisa Mills Denny, died when their son, Wilder, was four; subsequently Wilder spent much time in his grandfather's households in Newport and Washington. Although aging, George Bancroft was still vigorous, addicted to writing and horseback riding, and welcome in the homes of the nation's rich and powerful. Chester Arthur is said to have remarked that the President is "permitted to accept the invitations of members of his cabinet, Supreme Court judges and—Mr. George Bancroft."3 The bright youngster could not have ignored the contrast between his grandfather's power, wealth, and fame and his father's failures and dependence. Nor could he have missed the lesson that vigorous effort and independence of mind would reap rewards. Following what was by then family custom, Wilder attended Harvard after completing preparatory studies at the Roxbury Latin School and the Milton Academy. Entering in 1884, he compiled a record that was better than mediocre, although not brilliant. Football, a sport in which Bancroft was sufficiently adept to win a place on the Harvard eleven, competed with books for his attention. Harvard's controversial elective system permitted Bancroft to concentrate

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 heavily in the sciences, and this he did. His program was consistent with a major in either physics or chemistry until his senior year, when, by taking three electives, he met the requirements for a degree in chemistry. After his graduation in 1888, Bancroft stayed at Cambridge for an extra year, having been invited to serve as a laboratory assistant.4 Little evidence exists to explain Bancroft's interest in science or his choice of chemistry as a career, although his grandfather may have encouraged such thoughts. George Bancroft had written his undergraduate thesis on astronomy and had done graduate work at Göttingen in oriental languages and philology, fields that were considered no less scientific than chemistry. During his years in Europe he had relished the company of Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Babbage, Charles Lyell, August Wilhelm von Hofmann, and many other luminaries of European science. As a private citizen in Washington, his dinner companions included the neurologist S. Weir Mitchell and others prominent in American scientific circles. The models available to Wilder Bancroft at Harvard must have been no less influential. Prominent among these was a chemist under whom Bancroft did much of his course work: Josiah Parsons Cooke. A wealthy gentleman of distinguished family who spent summers near the Bancrofts in Newport, Cooke's fame was sufficient to draw talented young men like Theodore William Richards to Harvard. Joining the faculty in the 1850s under the worst possible conditions—his incompetent predecessor had been hanged for murdering a colleague—Cooke had built a place for chemistry in the Harvard curriculum. His success owed in part to his introduction of laboratory practice into his courses, but, in part as well, to his skill in describing the moral and cultural rewards of chemical study. "Success in the observation of phenomena," he wrote, "implies . . . quickness and sharp-

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 ness of perception, accuracy in details, and truthfulness; and on its power to cultivate these qualities a large part of the value of science, as a means of education, depends .... Slovenly work means slovenly results, and habits of carefulness, neatness, and order produce as excellent fruits in the laboratory as in the home."5 Nor did the study of chemistry simply foster the development of socially desirable traits; it also afforded striking evidence of the existence of a beneficent God. "Illustrations of the Divine attributes," Cooke wrote, "lie all around us, in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, and in the coal we burn.'' Like his colleague, Louis Agassiz, Cooke believed that "the laws of nature are the thoughts of God . . . the most direct evidence possible of Infinite wisdom."6 Colleagues acquainted with his unfortunate predecessor must have found this new chemist's sincere expressions of piety reassuring. Students like Wilder discovered in Cooke an example of how secular scholarship might be integrated comfortably into what was still largely a religious culture. Cooke, like George Bancroft, had one foot planted in the patrician world of old New England, where learning was linked with piety, where scholarship was undifferentiated, and where educators were dedicated to molding character, and the other in a new world where the traditional virtues were valued for their contributions to secular success, where knowledge was specialized, and where teachers transmitted expertise. Cooke's special interest in chemistry was a field he called chemical physics, meaning by that simply those portions of physics "which are more closely connected with Chemistry than the rest."7 In practice, this meant the study of the relation between the physical properties and chemical constitution of substances, the action of heat on matter, and methods of measuring the weight and volume of bodies—

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 topics that also engaged the attention of Cooke's European contemporaries, Regnault, Kopp, Bunsen, and Landolt. Cooke bequeathed these interests to his student and successor, Theodore William Richards, who took his Ph.D. at Harvard in the same year that Bancroft completed his undergraduate studies. He also may have planted seeds in Bancroft; after studying organic chemistry for two years under C. Loring Jackson at Harvard and under Rudolph Fittig at Strassburg, Bancroft entered Wilhelm Ostwald's institute at Leipzig. Bancroft arrived at Leipzig in 1890; his timing was impeccable. Under Ostwald's energetic leadership, Leipzig had vaulted into a position of leadership in the study of physical chemistry. Surrounded by assistants such as Walther Nernst, Ernst Otto Beckmann, and able students from a half-dozen countries, Ostwald was prosecuting research on electrochemistry and thermochemistry, editing the Zeitschrift für physikalische Chemie , translating the papers of J. Willard Gibbs, writing textbooks, and lecturing to all who would listen about the achievements and prospects for his new field. Others, notably J. H. van't Hoff, Svante Arrhenius, and Gibbs, had developed the intellectual foundations of physical chemistry, but Ostwald supplied the voice, pen, and personality that made this specialty the molecular biology of its day. Bancroft spent two years at the center of this maelstrom. After successfully defending a doctoral thesis on oxidation and reduction cells, Bancroft made a leisurely pilgrimage to scientific shrines. His first stop was Berlin, where he spent the autumn of 1892 attending the lectures of the feeble but legendary Helmholtz. Then he moved on to Amsterdam where he worked in van't Hoff's laboratory on the chemical potential of metals and developed a strong and enduring affection for the Dutchman. After completing this tour of Europe, Bancroft returned to Cambridge where he served for two years as a laboratory

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 assistant and instructor. It must have been an uncomfortable position. Josiah Parsons Cooke was in failing health, and it was clear that the college would soon need someone to assume responsibility for Cooke's courses. Bancroft had fine credentials, but so did T. W. Richards, who had stayed one rung above Bancroft since both arrived at Harvard in the mid-1880s. When Bancroft had taken his A.B., Richards had taken a Ph.D.; while Bancroft worked as a laboratory assistant, Richards had done postdoctoral work in European laboratories; while Bancroft was in Europe, Richards was teaching at Harvard; now Richards was an assistant professor and Bancroft an instructor. Shortly after Cooke died in 1894, the Corporation of the University voted Richards a leave of absence to spend a year with Ostwald and Nernst, thereby anointing him as Cooke's successor.8 A few months later Bancroft accepted an offer of an assistant professorship at Cornell. The chemistry department that Bancroft joined at Cornell was hardly yet a research center to compare with Leipzig or even Harvard, but it was beginning to show promise. As at many American universities, growth in enrollments at Cornell was driving an expansion of facilities and faculty. A new chemical laboratory had been built in 1890 and a staff of able young instructors, many of them "made in Germany," was being assembled. Bancroft was not the first physical chemist on the faculty; another of Ostwald's students, Joseph E. Trevor, had been hired in 1892 to assist in teaching elementary chemistry and to start elective courses in physical chemistry. But Trevor's severe and demanding style had intimidated students. Bancroft, by contrast, proved a far more effective "draw." Well-bred, physically imposing, possessed of a lively mind and a keen wit, Bancroft personified many of the ideals of the gentleman-scholar. Undergraduates responded to his irreverence, and graduate students

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 were attracted by his encyclopedic command of the chemical literature, his intellectual generosity, and his insistence that neither mathematical acumen nor experimental diligence could substitute for clear and independent thought. By 1900, Bancroft had helped make Cornell an important American center for graduate study in physical chemistry. Bancroft's forceful personality and strong opinions were also a source of controversy. A former student described him as "a wild man on committees. One time . . . on a Ph.D. examination, he asked some student what there was in water that put out fire? . . . the poor guy was completely flabbergasted, and Bancroft said, 'It's easy, there are fireboats.' "9 Even friends acknowledged that Bancroft's judgment could be uneven. Critics found his celebration of independent thought a substitute for rigor, his skepticism about mathematics and his distaste for exact measurements signs of sloth, and his biting wit a source of unnecessary conflict. Yet despite criticism from within and outside his department, Bancroft rose through the academic ranks with a speed that was unusual at the turn of the century; by 1903 he was a full professor. The key both to Bancroft's position at Cornell and to his growing reputation outside Ithaca was the Journal of Physical Chemistry. Following its first appearance in October 1896, the Journal was published monthly at Ithaca throughout the academic year. Although Joseph Trevor served for a few years as co-editor, Bancroft was the senior editor from the outset. It was Bancroft who promoted the Journal by means of letters to physical chemists around the country, who worked hardest to fill its early issues with articles and reviews, and who paid the difference between the cost of publication and income from subscriptions. Close to home, Bancroft's enterprise strengthened his standing with Cornell's president, Jacob Gould Schurman.

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 Ambitious to see Cornell become a center for scholarship and graduate study, he strongly encouraged professors to be active in their disciplines. One method to assert leadership in a discipline, a method much favored at Cornell, was to establish and edit scholarly journals. Schurman had himself founded the Philosophical Review in 1892, the year he was inaugurated president of Cornell; later he encouraged members of the engineering faculty to set up the Sibley Journal of Engineering and members of the Physics Department to organize the Physical Review. Journals had brought prestige to Liebig and Giessen and to Remsen and Johns Hopkins. Why not Cornell? Bancroft, who had greater facility with the pen than most chemists and rather less skill in the laboratory than many, took to the idea of editing a journal with enthusiasm. Nationalistic sentiment also played a part in the creation of the Journal of Physical Chemistry. At the turn of the century, chemists, like other American scientists, were beginning to feel restless under the scientific hegemony of Germany. The grievances were many: the need for American students to learn German; the patronizing tone of some German scientists; the delays in obtaining imported glassware, fine chemicals, and equipment; and the slights Americans felt when their work was ignored or needlessly duplicated abroad. "[M]any of our German friends are apparently of the opinion that unless work has been done in Germany it has not been done," lamented one prominent electrochemist.10 The grandson of a historian who celebrated America's independence from Europe and the great-grandson of a biographer of George Washington, Bancroft was eager to see America attain scientific parity with Germany. If American scientists were to improve their international standing, Bancroft believed that they would have to emulate the German example by concentrating their best work

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 their normal state of dispersion, their catalytic activity increased and alertness was restored. If, however, coagulation went too far granulation of colloidal proteins ensued, resulting in the death of the organism. "From my knowledge of colloid chemistry," Bancroft wrote, "it was evident that the objections against Claude Bernard's theory were unsound. We therefore proceeded to show that the theory was right."40 Convinced that after decades of work he had now stumbled upon a truly important discovery, Bancroft hastened to share it with the world. During the next three years, Bancroft, Richter, and their associates published more than a score of papers on this colloid theory of anaesthesia, some in Bancroft's Journal and others in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Theirs, however, was not just a theory of anesthesia. It very soon became a theory of poisoning, drug addiction, alcoholism, and insanity as well. In each instance, Bancroft and his co-workers claimed that changes in the dispersion of the colloids of nerve cells produced dysfunction. In the case of morphine addiction and alcoholism, for example, prolonged exposure to agglomerating agents induced a coagulation of colloidal proteins that was, to some degree, irreversible. In cases of depression, the normal balance between dispersion and agglomeration was displaced and the colloids of the brain were abnormally coagulated; in cases of schizophrenia, the brain colloids were over-peptized.41 Reasoning that if foreign agents could disturb the natural state of the proteins of nerve cells, Bancroft and his associates concluded that it should be possible to counter their action by the administration of other substances with antagonistic effects. For example, the addition of a powerful peptizing agent ought to reverse the effects of coagulating agents. Experiments with both egg albumin and anes-

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 thetized rabbits and dogs convinced Bancroft that sodium thiocyanate, also known as sodium rhodanate, was the most effective such substance that could be tolerated by a living organism in therapeutic dosages. Announcing that sodium rhodanate was a veritable elixir that "alleviates all troubles due to reversible coagulation of proteins," Bancroft and his colleagues plunged into a program of clinical trials, using colleagues' private patients—morphine addicts, alcoholics, and manic depressives—as subjects.42 Bancroft's results, while unfailingly optimistic, resisted duplication elsewhere. Indeed, it would have been surprising had they been duplicated, for his procedures violated just about every standard of clinical research. His trials involved a handful of subjects who suffered from ill-defined maladies, little effort was made to establish controls, and follow-up was almost non-existent. It took time, however, for his methods to receive critical scrutiny, and for a year of so Bancroft rode high on a wave of publicity and public acclaim. Written up in all the major New York newspapers and even in Time magazine, Bancroft was touted as a scientist who had found a cure for the alcoholism, insanity, and the "drug habit." Nor was it only journalists who were impressed. Bancroft's fellow chemists in the New York Section of the American Chemical Society were also enthusiastic. Meeting in February 1933, their awards committee voted to bestow on Bancroft the William H. Nichols Medal in recognition of his work on the colloid chemistry of the nervous system.43 The announcement of this award precipitated an avalanche of congratulatory letters and newspaper stories. It also triggered a sharp rebuke from the Journal of the American Medical Association, whose editors had already expressed skepticism about Bancroft's claims and worry about his infringements on the prerogatives of physicians. Chemists,

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 they charged, were casting "doubt on the whole system of rewards and prizes in the field of scientific research and discovery," by awarding Bancroft a medal "for his extraordinary views on the effects of sodium thiocyanate and for his theory of agglomeration—or maybe it is conglomeration . . . "44 Chauncey D. Leake, professor of pharmacology at the University of California Medical School, was more direct: There is not objection to Professor Bancroft amusing himself in biologic speculation. But one may justifiably object when he claims scientific validity for what is certainly speculative on his part, even though he may try to disguise it by plausible argument, superficial experimentation, and selected reference to the scientific literature.45 Noting that potassium thiocyanate was known to be toxic to human beings and that he and other pharmacologists had been unable to confirm Bancroft's results, Leake concluded that "it is reprehensible for him [Bancroft] to claim scientific validity for the application of his notions to medical fields."46 Appalled to discover that their would-be medalist was being charged with quackery, the Nichols Award Committee hurriedly sought to dissociate themselves from the controversy. Three weeks before the medal was to be presented, the chairman of the committee asked Bancroft to accept the award for his work on applications of the phase rule rather than for his "agglomeration theory." Bancroft, nettled by their fickleness, told the committee's chairman that he would refuse the medal before he would accept an alteration in the announced terms of the award. Taking Bancroft at his word, the awards committee announced that Bancroft had declined to accept the honor and that no award would be made in 1933.47 Bancroft, ever ready to cast himself in the role of righteous dissenter, never abandoned his belief in his colloid

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 theory of nerve function. Indeed, as criticism mounted, Bancroft's claims for sodium rhodanate became ever more extravagant. Disease might be a result of an excessive degree of coagulation or of dispersal of bodily colloids and might be cured by the administration of agents that restored tissues to their natural state. The process of aging itself might be a process of coagulation of cellular colloids which might be reversed simply by the regular administration of a suitable dispersing agent. Citing personal experience, Bancroft asserted that daily doses of sodium rhodanate would increase resistance to infection, improve sleep, and prolong life by hindering the aging of protoplasmic colloids. By 1935, however, when these claims were advanced, only a handful of scientists were still listening.48 Like the Wall Street speculators of 1929, Bancroft had gambled on a flyer. It had briefly carried him upward but eventually proved worthless. In the crash, it was not money that Bancroft lost, but his reputation—and his journal. Disappointed by the Journal of Physical Chemistry's failure to show signs of growth despite ten years of subsidies and appalled by criticism of Bancroft's foray into pharmacology, the Chemical Foundation abruptly announced that it was terminating its support at the end of 1932. Bancroft, unable to meet the Journal's large deficits alone, was compelled to convey ownership and editorial control to the American Chemical Society. Stripped of his journal, Bancroft continued to teach at Cornell until his retirement in 1937 at the age of seventy. Although he subsequently did some consulting for industrial firms and published occasional articles and reviews, his retirement was punctuated by tragedy. Struck by a car on the Cornell campus in 1938, Bancroft had to give up the golf and other outdoor activities that he had long enjoyed and spend the remainder of his years a semi-invalid. Four

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 years later, his wife of forty-nine years and mother of his five children, Kate Bott Bancroft, died. Endowed with a strong constitution that had been fortified further by years of vigorous activity, Bancroft endured these blows with forbearance. When Bancroft died in 1953, he was remembered by former students and friends as a "gentleman-scholar" of somewhat eccentric but always stimulating ideas, an independent-minded critic of conventional wisdom, and a talented mediator between basic and industrial science whose enthusiasm was both virtue and vice. I AM GRATEFUL to the staff of the Cornell University Archives for access to the papers of Wilder D. Bancroft; most original documents upon which this memoir is based may be found in this collection. Biographical sketches of Bancroft include Alexander Findlay's in Journal of the Chemical Society (1953): 2506-14; reprinted in Great Chemists, ed. Eduard Farber (New York: Interscience, 1961), pp. 1245-61; H. W. Gillett in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry—News Edition 24 (1932): 1200-1201; and C. W. Mason in Journal of the American Chemical Society 76 (1954): 2601-2. For a fuller treatment of Bancroft's career and context see chapters 4 and 7 of my Physical Chemistry from Ostwald to Pauling: The Making of a Science in America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), portions of which have been incorporated into this memoir with the permission of the publisher. NOTES 1.   Harvard University, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Report of the Class of 1888 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1913):12; Fiftieth Anniversary Report of the Class of 1888 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1938):19. 2.   M. A. DeWolfe Howe, The Life and Letters of George Bancroft, 2 vols. (New York: Scribner, 1908), is a rich source of information about the Bancroft family, as is Lillian Handlin, George Bancroft: The Intellectual as Democrat (New York: Harper and Row, 1984). See also Russel B. Nye, George Bancroft: Brahmin Rebel (New York: Knopf, 1944).

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 3.   Howe, Life and Letters of George Bancroft, 2:281. On John Chandler Bancroft see Handlin, George Bancroft, 201-2, 251-54, 312, 337. 4.   ''Undergraduate Record Card of Wilder Dwight Bancroft," Harvard University Archives. 5.   Josiah Parsons Cooke, "Scientific Culture," in Scientific Culture and Other Essays (New York: Appleton, 1881), 28, 32. On Cooke see George S. Forbes, "Josiah Parsons Cooke, Jr.," in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 3:397-99; and addresses in commemoration of Josiah Parsons Cooke by his former students, Charles Loring Jackson, Henry Barker Hill, Augustus Lowell, Francis Humphreys Storer, and Charles William Eliot, in Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 30 (1895): 513-47. On Cooke drawing Richards to Harvard, see Theodore William Richards, "Retrospect," National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. 6.   Josiah Parsons Cooke, Religion and Chemistry; or, Proofs of God's Plan in the Atmosphere and Its Elements (New York: Scribner, 1864): 6, 268. 7.   Josiah Parsons Cooke, Elements of Chemical Physics (Boston: John Allyn, 1860): 6. 8.   Theodore William Richards, "Brief Biography of T. W. Richards between 1868 and 1917," National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. 9.   I thank Leon Gortler for this anecdote, which was taken from his interview with Thomas Jacobs. See also Emile M. Chamot and Fred H. Rhodes, "The Development of the Department of Chemistry and of the School of Chemical Engineering at Cornell," unpublished manuscript, Cornell University Archives, Ithaca, New York, 63, 65, 67. 10.   Edgar Fahs Smith to Bancroft, 31 July 1905, box 1905-06, professional correspondence, Wilder Dwight Bancroft Papers, Cornell University Archives. 11.   Wilder D. Bancroft, "Analytical Chemistry and the Phase Rule Classification," Journal of Physical Chemistry 6 (1902): 106. 12.   Wilder D. Bancroft, review of Gesammelte Schriften von Eilhard Mitscherlich in Journal of Physical Chemistry 1 (1896-97): 176. 13.   Wilder D. Bancroft, "The Future in Chemistry," Science 27 (1908): 979-80; Bancroft, "Analytical Chemistry and the Phase Rule," 106. 14.   Wilder D. Bancroft, The Phase Rule: A Treatise on Qualitative Chemical Equilibrium (Ithaca: Journal of Physical Chemistry, 1897): iii.

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 15.   For Bancroft's views on the structure of his science, see The Phase Rule, esp. 1-5; his course descriptions in the Cornell Register ; and his frequent reviews in the Journal of Physical Chemistry. 16.   Wilder D. Bancroft, quoted in H. S. van Klooster, "Metallography in America," Chemical Age 31 (1923): 291-92. 17.   M. M. Pattison Muir to J. Willard Gibbs, 14 February 1880, in Lynde P. Wheeler, Josiah Willard Gibbs, The History of a Great Mind (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1951; Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1969): 86-87. 18.   On Roozeboom's and Ostwald's discovery of Gibbs's phase rule, see Edward E. Daub, "Gibbs' Phase Rule: A Centenary Retrospect," Journal of Chemical Education 53 (1976): 747-51; J. M. A. van Bemmelen, W. P. Jorissen, and W. E. Ringer, "H. W. B. Roozeboom," Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 40 (1907): 5153-54; and Wilhelm Ostwald, Lebenslinien, Eine Selbstbiographie, 3 vols. (Berlin: Klasing and Co., 1926-27) 2:61. The relevant portion of Gibbs's mailing list for reprints is reproduced in Wheeler, Josiah Willard Gibbs, 242-43. H. W. Bakhuis Roozeboom, "Sur les differentes formes de l'équilibre chimique hétérogène," Recueil des travaux chimiques des Pays-Bas et de la Belgique 6 (1887): 262-303. 19.   Wilder D. Bancroft, "Das chemische Potential der Metalle," Zeitschrift für physikalische Chemie 12 (1893): 289-97; Wilder D. Bancroft, "Inorganic Chemistry and the Phase Rule, "Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Society 20 (1904): 40-41. 20.   Bancroft first uses "solute" in "On Ternary Mixtures," Physical Review 3 (1895-96): 21-33. He introduced the term for the sake of convenience, but also because he was convinced that there was a physico-chemical difference between solvent and solute, a point that he would later give up only with great reluctance. Other papers in this series were published in the same volume, 114-36, 193-209; and in Journal of Physical Chemistry 1 (1896-97): 34-50. 21.   Wilder D. Bancroft, "The Relation of Physical Chemistry to Technical Chemistry, "Journal of the American Chemical Society 21 (1899): 1107. 22.   Wilder D. Bancroft, review of Theoretische Chemie vom Standpunkte der Avogadro'schen Regel und der Thermodynamik, by Walther Nernst, in Journal of Physical Chemistry 3 (1899): 337. 23.   Wilder D. Bancroft, "How to Ripen Time," Journal of Physical Chemistry 35 (1931): 1917-18.

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 24.   Linus Pauling, ''Arthur Amos Noyes," in Proceedings of the Robert A. Welch Foundation Conferences on Chemical Research, XX. American Chemistry—Bicentennial, edited by W. O. Milligan (Houston: Welch Foundation, 1977): 93. 25.   Thomas Graham, "Liquid Diffusion Applied to Analysis," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 151 (1861): 183-224. 26.   On colloids and biochemistry see Robert E. Kohler, Jr., "The History of Biochemistry: A Survey," Journal of the History of Biology 8 (1975): esp. 290-91. Other valuable sources include Joseph S. Fruton, Molecules and Life: Historical Essays on the Interplay of Chemistry and Biology (New York: Wiley, 1972): 131-48; Marcel Florkin, A History of Biochemistry (Comprehensive Biochemistry, 30) (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1972): 279-83; and John T. Edsall, "Proteins as Macromolecules," Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Supplement 1 (1962): 12-20. 27.   Wilder D. Bancroft, "Chemical Activity at Princeton," Princeton Alumni Weekly 27 (13 May 1927): 918. 28.   Wilder D. Bancroft, Applied Colloid Chemistry: General Theory (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1921): 2. 29.   Bancroft, Applied Colloid Chemistry, 3rd ed. (1932): v. 30.   George Scatchard, "Half a Century as a Part-time Colloid Chemist," in Twenty Years of Colloid and Surface Chemistry: The Kendall Award Addresses, ed. K. J. Mysels, C. M. Samour, and J. H. Hollister (Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society, 1973): 103. 31.   Bancroft, Applied Colloid Chemistry, 2nd ed., (New York, 1926): 42-43, 299-300. 32.   Ibid., 216-26. See also John T. Edsall, "Proteins as Macromolecules," Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Supplement 1 (1962): 15-18. 33.   On Staudinger, see Yasu Furukawa, "Hermann Staudinger and the Emergence of the Macromolecular Concept," Historia Scientiarum 22 (1982): 1-18; on the work of Einstein, Perrin, and Svedberg, see Mary Jo Nye, Molecular Reality: A Perspective on the Scientific Work of Jean Perrin (New York: American Elsevier, 1972): 97-142. 34.   Albert P. Mathews, "Adsorption," Physiological Reviews 1 (1921): 560. 35.   Ibid., 579. 36.   Ibid., 588-89. 37.   Wilder D. Bancroft, "How to Ripen Time," Journal of Physical Chemistry 35 (1931): 1921.

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 38.   Wilder D. Bancroft to Orlando F. Scott, 11 February 1933, 1933-53 and undated box, professional correspondence, Wilder D. Bancroft Papers, Cornell University Archives. 39.   Wilder D. Bancroft and George H. Richter, "The Chemistry of Anesthesia," Journal of Physical Chemistry 35 (1931): 224. 40.   Bancroft to Scott, 11 February 1933. The most serious of the objections Bancroft here alludes to was the question of how anesthetics could produce their effect when present in nervous tissue in minute concentrations. Bancroft thought he had the answer: a slightly acidified albumin sol, treated with sodium sulphate until it was on the verge of precipitating, would begin to flocculate with the addition of one drop of alcohol or chloral hydrate. In much the same way, he supposed, the electrolytes normally present in nerve cells kept protoplasmic colloids in a "critical state," ready to coagulate in the presence of extremely small amounts of a flocculating agent. See Bancroft and Richter, "The Chemistry of Anesthesia," 226-27. 41.   Fourteen articles by Bancroft and his associates appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 16-20 (1930-34); eleven others were published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry 35-36 (1931-32). 42.   Wilder D. Bancroft and G. H. Richter, "Reversible Coagulation in Living Tissue," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 17 (1931): 294. 43.   New York Times, 6 February 1933, 17. 44.   "Awards and Recognitions in Chemistry and Medicine," Journal of the American Medical Association 100 (4 March 1933): 667. 45.   Chauncey D. Leake, "Sodium Thiocyanate (Rhodanate) and the Theory of Agglomeration," Journal of the American Medical Association 100 (4 March 1933): 682. 46.   Ibid., 683. 47.   D. P. Morgan to Wilder D. Bancroft, 18 February 1933 and 2 March 1933; Bancroft to Morgan, 22 February 1933, all in 1933-53 and undated box, professional correspondence, Wilder D. Bancroft Papers, Cornell University Archives. 48.   Wilder D. Bancroft, Esther C. Farnham, and John E. Rutzler, Jr., "One Aspect of the Longevity Problem," Science 81 (1935): 152.

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1892 Über oxydationsketten. Zeit. physik. Chem. 10:387-409. 1893 Das chemische potential der metalle. Zeit. physik. Chem. 12:289-97. 1894 On ternary mixtures. Proc. Am. Acad. 30:324-68. 1895 On ternary mixtures. Phys. Rev. 3 (1895-96): 21-33, 114-36, 193-209. 1896 Ternary mixtures. II. J. Phys. Chem. 1:34-50. 1897 Ternary mixtures. III. J. Phys. Chem. 1:760-65. The Phase Rule. A Treatise on Qualitative Chemical Equilibrium. Ithaca, N.Y.: Journal of Physical Chemistry. 1898 The equilibria of stereoisomers. J. Phys. Chem. 2:143-58; 245-55. The variance of the voltaic cell. J. Phys. Chem. 2:427-40. 1899 Pressure-temperature diagrams for binary systems. J. Phys. Chem. 3:1-11. Dissociation studies. I. J. Phys. Chem. 3:72-94. The dilution law. Zeit. phys. Chem. 31:188-96. The equilibria of stereoisomers. J. Phys. Chem. 3:144-55. Ternary mixtures. IV. J. Phys. Chem. 3:217-31. 1903 Chemical potential and electromotive force. J. Phys. Chem. 7:416-27. Present status of the electrolytic dissociation theory. Trans. Am. Electrochem. Soc. 4:175-92.

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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 65 1905 The chemistry of electroplating. J. Phys. Chem. 9:216-29. 1917 Contact catalysis. J. Phys. Chem. 21:573-602, 644-75, 734-75. 1918 Contact catalysis. J. Phys. Chem. 22:22-43. 1921 Applied Colloid Chemistry, General Theory. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1926 Physical chemistry. In A Half Century of Chemistry in America, ed. Charles A. Browne, pp. 89-110. Easton, Pa: American Chemical Society. 1931 With George H. Richter. Reversible coagulation in living tissue. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 17:105-11, 186-92, 294-301, 410-13. The chemistry of anaesthesia. J. Phys. Chem. 35:215-68. With J. E. Rutzler, Jr. Reversible coagulation in living tissue. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 17:105-11, 186-91, 482-84, 570-78, 597-601, 637-42.