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The Donald F. Othmer papers

Identifier: 96-17-001

Scope and Contents

For a more detailed inventory, please view this record in our library catalog:

This collection consists of fifteen series, which include Biographical Information; Associations, Societies, and Organizations; Awards and Honors; Personal Files; Consulting, Research, and General Correspondence - Domestic Consulting, Research, and General Correspondence - Foreign; Lectures; Manuscripts Patent Applications; Patent Information; Polytechnic Files; Reports; Chronological Correspondence; Othmer Images - Photographs, Negatives, and Slides; and Artifacts. The bulk of the paper archives is correspondence pertaining to issues of chemical engineering. His personal life is also represented, particularly in Series I and IV.


  • Creation: 1921-1998


Biographical sketch

Donald Othmer was born in Omaha, Nebraska on May 11, 1904. In 1927, he earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. In 1932, he began a career as a professor for the Chemical Engineering Department of Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, where he remained until his death in 1995. He also consulted for hundreds of companies on numerous chemical engineering issues. He received over 150 patents worldwide. He invented the Othmer Still, a basic laboratory device for the determination of vapor-liquid equilibrium data. He collaborated with Dr. Raymond Kirk to create the Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology.


169 Linear Feet (304 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Donald F. Othmer. Method of acquisition--Bequest;; Date of acquisition--1996..

Publications About Described Materials

Publications: Thackray, Arnold. and Crow, Amy Beth, eds. Donald Frederick and Mildred Topp Othmer: A Commemorative of Their Lives and Legacies. Philadelphia: Chemical Heritage Foundation, 1999.

General Note

Collection also includes furniture and unboxed artifacts.

General Note

Othmer's patents, lectures, and manuscripts have been bound.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository

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