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Charles C. Price

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles C. Price
Charles C. Price (1913- 2001) 2004.505.010 crop.jpg
Charles C. Price, 1958
Charles Coale Price III

(1913-07-13)July 13, 1913
DiedFebruary 11, 2001(2001-02-11) (aged 87)
Alma materSwarthmore College, Harvard University
Scientific career
FieldsPhysical organic chemistry
InstitutionsUniversity of Illinois at Chicago, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania
Doctoral advisorLouis Fieser

Charles C. Price (July 13, 1913, Passaic, New Jersey- February 11, 2001, Haverford, Pennsylvania) was an American chemist and president of the American Chemical Society (1965). He taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Pennsylvania.

He was known as a pioneer of polymer science. He co-organized the first Reaction Mechanisms Conference in 1946. He was also a founding co-editor of the Journal of Polymer Science in 1946. He studied polymerization processes as part of the U.S. synthetic rubber program during World War II and invented and patented polyether polyurethane foam rubber. He also contributed to the detection of chemical weapons, the develop of chloroquine as a treatment for malaria, and treatments for cancer.

In 1952 Price won the Democratic nomination to Congress for Indiana's 3rd congressional district. He was an active Quaker. As a long-term member of the United World Federalists, he campaigned for disarmament and co-operative world government through a strengthened United Nations. One of his interests was yacht racing, for which he won numerous awards.

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Water is the liquid of life. We drink it, we bathe in it, we farm, cook, and clean with it. It's the most abundant molecule in our bodies. In fact, every life form we know of would die without it. But most importantly, without water, we wouldn't have iced tea. Mmmm, iced tea. Why do these ice cubes float? If these were cubes of solid argon in a cup of liquid argon, they would sink. And the same goes for most other substances. But solid water, a.k.a. ice, is somehow less dense than liquid water. How's that possible? You already know that every water molecule is made up of two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom. Let's look at a few of the molecules in a drop of water, and let's say the temperature is 25 degrees Celcius. The molecules are bending, stretching, spinning, and moving through space. Now, let's lower the temperature, which will reduce the amount of kinetic energy each of these molecules has so they'll bend, stretch, spin, and move less. And that means that on average, they'll take up less space. Now, you'd think that as the liquid water starts to freeze, the molecules would just pack together more and more closely, but that's not what happens. Water has a special kind of interaction between molecules that most other substances don't have, and it's called a hydrogen bond. Now, remember that in a covalent bond two electrons are shared, usually unequally, between atoms. In a hydrogen bond, a hydrogen atom is shared, also unequally, between atoms. One hydrogen bond looks like this. Two look like this. Here's three and four and five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, I could go on. In a single drop of water, hydrogen bonds form extended networks between hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, trillions of molecules, and these bonds are constantly breaking and reforming. Now, back to our water as it cools down. Above 4 degrees Celcius, the kinetic energy of the water molecules keeps their interactions with each other short. Hydrogen bonds form and break like high school relationships, that is to say, quickly. But below 4 degrees, the kinetic energy of the water molecules starts to fall below the energy of the hydrogen bonds. So, hydrogen bonds form much more frequently than they break and beautiful structures start to emerge from the chaos. This is what solid water, ice, looks like on the molecular level. Notice that the ordered, hexagonal structure is less dense than the disordered structure of liquid water. And you know that if an object is less dense than the fluid it's in, it will float. So, ice floats on water, so what? Well, let's consider a world without floating ice. The coldest part of the ocean would be the pitch-black ocean floor, once frozen, always frozen. Forget lobster rolls since crustaceans would lose their habitats, or sushi since kelp forests wouldn't grow. What would Canadian kids do in winter without pond hockey or ice fishing? And forget James Cameron's Oscar because the Titanic totally would have made it. Say goodbye to the white polar ice caps reflecting sunlight that would otherwise bake the planet. In fact, forget the oceans as we know them, which at over 70% of the Earth's surface area, regulate the atmosphere of the whole planet. But worst of all, there would be no iced tea. Mmmmm, iced tea.



Charles Coale Price III was born on July 13, 1913, to Thornton Walton Price, a mechanical engineer, and Helen Marot Farley, in Passaic, New Jersey. His parents were Quakers who had married in the Swarthmore Friends Meeting. Charles was the first of five children. At age six, his right hand was blown off in an accident with a box of detonators for dynamite. Regardless, he excelled in sports. Upon graduating from the George School, his father gave him an 18-foot sailboat.[1]

Price attended Swarthmore College, earning a B.A. in chemistry with high honors, Phi Beta Kappa in 1934.[2] He was captain of the varsity lacrosse team.[1]

Price received his Masters (1935) and Ph.D. (1936) from Harvard University, where he worked with Louis Fieser.[2] In June 1936, he married Mary Elma White.[1]


University of Illinois at Chicago

Price did one year of post-doctoral work at the University of Illinois at Chicago,[3] working with Roger Adams on the structure of gossypol.[4] His interest in molecular bonding and the mechanisms of chemical reactions underlies much of his career.[1] He was a member of the faculty from 1936 to 1946, becoming an assistant professor in 1936, an instructor in 1937, and an associate professor in 1942, in the department of chemistry.[5][2]

During World War II, Price did research in several important areas. He developed tests to detect known chemical warfare agents in water and constructed equipment to remove them.[6] He worked on the synthesis of dichloroquinoline[7][8] and tested chloroquine as a possible substitute for quinine, which was no longer available for the treatment of malaria.[9][10] He studied polymers and polymerization processes involved in the production of synthetic rubber as part of the U.S. synthetic rubber program, which sought alternative sources to unavailable natural rubber.[11][12]

University of Notre Dame

From 1946 to 1954, Price was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame.[13] At Notre Dame, Price and Paul Doughty Bartlett organized the first Conference on Organic Reaction Mechanisms, held September 3, 1946. This conference marks the point at which American physical organic chemists in the United States began to identify themselves as members of a field.[14] [15] Price was a founding co-editor of the Journal of Polymer Science in 1946, with Paul M. Doty and Herman Francis Mark.[16] He also served on the editorial board of Organic Syntheses from 1946 to 1954.[1] He received the 1946 ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, given to the most promising young chemist, and presented "Some Polar Factors Affecting the Properties of Unsaturated Compounds" as his award address.[17]

Price was a pioneer in the field of polyethers. He invented polyether polyurethane rubber, a form of foam rubber which became widely used in sponges, mattresses, cars, insulation and building materials, flotation devices, and packaging.[5] He obtained U.S. Patent 2,866,774 for elastomeric polyether urethanes (Filing Date: 09/23/1953; Publication Date: 12/30/1958).[18][19][20]

In 1950, Price campaigned at the Indiana Democratic Convention for the Democratic nomination to the U. S. Senate, in a three-way contest with Andrew Jacobs and winner Alexander M. Campbell.[21] In 1952 Price won the Democratic nomination to Congress for Indiana's 3rd congressional district. He came second in the election to the Republican candidate Shepard J. Crumpacker Jr.[22][23][24]

"Although I do not underestimate the contributions that science can continue to make to our civilization, I am convinced that scientific progress is far ahead of political progress. To solve our present crisis, precipitated by technical developments which have made all nations neighbors in the world community, we must achieve political progress by building an effective political organization at the world level." Charles C. Price, 1952[24]

Price resigned as head of the chemistry department at Notre Dame in 1952, to campaign, and was reappointed as department head in 1954.[5]

University of Pennsylvania

In 1954, Price joined the University of Pennsylvania, where he became the Blanchard Professor of Chemistry and chairman of the chemistry department. In 1966 he stepped down as chairman and was named the University Professor of Chemistry. In 1968 he was named the Benjamin Franklin Professor of Chemistry.[5] He continued to work in the area of polymers, and built upon his previous work with chemical warfare and disease treatment, investigating the area of cancer treatment.[1]

Price served on the Divisional Committee for Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences of the National Science Foundation in the 1950s.[25] In 1962, he spent several months in Japan with his family, teaching at Osaka University and Kyoto University as a Fulbright Professor.[1]

Price served as President of the American Chemical Society in 1965.[1] He chaired a new committee, on Chemistry and Public Affairs, and worked with Arnold Thackray, head of the University of Pennsylvania department of History and Sociology of Science, to establish a Center for the History of Chemistry (CHOC).[26]

Price retired from the University of Pennsylvania as professor emeritus in 1978.[2] When CHOC was founded in 1982, Price became the founding chair of the CHOC Policy Council.[26][27] Price was instrumental in helping CHOC to obtain funding from John C. Haas,[28][29] Arnold Beckman, and others.[30] In 1992, CHOC was renamed the Chemical Heritage Foundation[31] and in 2018, the Science History Institute.[32] The Charles C. Price Fellowship for postdoctoral students studying the history of science and technology was first awarded by the institution in 1999.[33]

Mary Elma (White) Price died of cancer in 1982, survived by her husband and their five children: Patricia (1938-), Susanne (1940-), Sarah (1944-), Judith (1946-) and Charles Coale IV (1948-). Charles Price remarried in 1983, to Anne Parker Gill.[1][34] He died on February 11, 2001.[1]


Price was active in the United World Federalists for many years.[35] The organization advocated strengthening the United Nations to form a world government that could resolve issues and ensure peace.[1] While in Indiana, Price served as Chairman of the St. Joseph County Chapter (1948-1950) and the Indiana State Branch (1950-1952). After moving to Philadelphia, he served as Vice-President of the Philadelphia Area Council and the Pennsylvania State Branch (1955). Price also served on the National Executive Council from 1950 to 1953 and 1956 to 1965. He served as Chairman of the Statutes Committee of the World Movement for World Federal Government from 1953 to 1957. He became First Vice-President of the United World Federalists from 1958 to 1959, and President from 1959 to 1961.[35][36][37] He was President of the World Federalists Educational Fund from 1972 to 1974.[35]

Price was Chairman of the Federation of American Scientists from 1956 to 1957.[35] He was on the executive committee of the Commission to Study the Organization of Peace in 1962.[38] He served on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO from 1964 to 1969, and served on its Executive Committee from 1966 to 1969.[35] He became board chairman of the Council for a Livable World in 1973.[39] He served on the board of the Committee on a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE),[36][40] and spoke before U.S. Government committees on the Prohibition of Chemical and Biological Weapons.[5]

Price was active as a Quaker, serving as clerk of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting working group on world federal government[1] and as clerk of the Old Haverford Meeting.[1] He served on the College Board of Managers for Swarthmore College,[41] the American Friends Service Committee,[42] and as co-chairman of the Global Interdependence Center in Philadelphia in the 1980s.[43]

He encouraged scientists and government institutions to work together in support of disarmament and to seek peaceful solutions to economic, political, and social challenges throughout the world.[44][45]


Price was a long-term member of the Cruising Club of America, winning a number of trophies in his racing yachts Proton (a Gulfstar 41)[46] and Proton II.[47][48][49][50] When he moved from South Bend, Indiana to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1954, he sailed his yacht from Lake Michigan to the Chesapeake Bay, a three-month trip. First he participated in a 330-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island. Then he went through the Great Lakes to the canal at Buffalo, New York. After reaching the coast, he sailed along the coastline to Annapolis, Maryland.[51]

Between 1960 and 1970, Price competed six times in the Bermuda Race from Newport to Bermuda.[46] In 1970, he sailed from Bermuda to the Isle of Wight, England in his 45-foot sailboat, to compete in the Cowes Week regatta. Other competitors in the races at Cowes Week included Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Prime Minister Edward Heath.[1]


  • Mechanisms of reactions at carbon-carbon double bonds. New York : Interscience, 1946 [i.e. 1947].
  • Sulfur bonding. (with Shigeru Ōae) New York, Ronald Press Co., 1962.
  • Geometry of molecules. New York : McGraw-Hill, 1971.
  • Synthesis of life. Stroudsburg, Pa., Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, 1974.
  • Energy and order, some reflections on evolution. Swarthmore, Pa. : C. Price, c1983.
  • Coordination polymerization. (Polymer science and technology, v. 19.) New York : Plenum Press, c1983.

Awards and honors

Charles C. Price receives Army Commendation for Meritorious Civilian Service, May 20, 1958
Charles C. Price receives Army Commendation for Meritorious Civilian Service, May 20, 1958


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Charles C. Price July 13, 1913 – February 11, 2001" (PDF). Organic Syntheses. 79: xvi–xix. 2001. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Center for Oral History. "Charles C. Price". Science History Institute.
  3. ^ Mainz, Vera V. (August 21–25, 2016). "Professional genealogy of Charles C. Price" (PDF). American Chemical Society Division of the History of Chemistry 252nd ACS National Meeting. p. 10. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  4. ^ Egolf, Roger A. (August 21–25, 2016). "From reaction mechanisms, synthetic polymers, and chemotherapeutics, to the evolution of life: the wide-ranging scientific life of Charles Price" (PDF). American Chemical Society Division of the History of Chemistry 252nd ACS National Meeting. p. 10. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations (1974). Prohibition of chemical and biological weapons : hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-third Congress, second session on Ex. J, 91-2 ... Ex. Q. 92-2 ... and S. Res. 48 ... December 10, 1974. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 43–44. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Charles C. Price Papers, 1943-1945". University of Illinois Archives.
  7. ^ Ravina, Enrique (2011). The evolution of drug discovery : from traditional medicines to modern drugs (1. Aufl. ed.). Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. ISBN 9783527326693. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  8. ^ PRICE, CC; ROBERTS, RM (July 1946). "The synthesis of 4-hydroxyquinolines; through ethoxymethylene malonic ester". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 68 (7): 1204–8. doi:10.1021/ja01211a020. PMID 20990951.
  9. ^ Slater, Leo B. (2009). War and disease : biomedical research on malaria in the twentieth century. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. pp. 158–161. ISBN 9780813544380. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  10. ^ "NOMINATION FORM NATIONAL HISTORIC CHEMICAL LANDMARKS PROGRAM" (PDF). University of Illinois. pp. 2, 30. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  11. ^ Price, Charles C. (March 1943). "SYNTHETIC RUBBER". School Science and Mathematics. 43 (3): 251–253. doi:10.1111/j.1949-8594.1943.tb05848.x.
  12. ^ "U.S. Synthetic Rubber Program". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  13. ^ Gortler, Leon B. (26 April 1979). Charles Price, Transcript of an Interview Conducted by Leon Gortler at The University of Pennsylvania on 26 April 1979 (PDF). Philadelphia: Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry.
  14. ^ Arnett, Edward M. (1997). "Physical organic chemistry in the 21st century, will it be recognizable?" (PDF). Pure and Applied Chemistry. 69 (2): 217–221. doi:10.1351/pac199769020217. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Reaction Mechanisms Conference". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry". Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry. doi:10.1002/(ISSN)1099-0518. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  17. ^ a b "ACS meets in Chicago" (PDF). The Notre Dame Alumni. 24 (5). 1946. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  18. ^ a b Vandenberg, Edwin J. (1975). "Preface". Polyethers : a symposium sponsored by the Division of Polymer Chemistry at the 167th meeting of the American Chemical Society, Los Angeles, Calif., April 2, 1974. ACS Symposium Series. 6. Washington: American Chemical Society. pp. vii. doi:10.1021/bk-1975-0006.pr001. ISBN 9780841202283.
  19. ^ a b "ACS Award for Creative Invention". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Polyether polyurethane rubber US 2866774 A". United States Patents. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Convention News". Muncie Post-Democrat,Muncie, Delaware County. 9 June 1950. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  22. ^ Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 4, 1952: Showing the Highest Vote for Presidential Electors, and the Vote Cast for Each Nominee for United States Senator, Representative, Delegate, and Resident Commissioner to the Eighty-third Congress, Together with a Recapitulation Thereof, Including the Electoral Vote. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1953. p. 12.
  23. ^ "Our Campaigns - IN District 3 Race - Nov 04, 1952". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  24. ^ a b "NEWS-MAKERS: Price to run for representative from Indiana". Chemical & Engineering News. 30 (7): 692–696. 18 February 1952. doi:10.1021/cen-v030n007.p692.
  25. ^ National Science Foundation (1954). Fourth Annual Report for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1954 (PDF). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 62. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  26. ^ a b Ross, Linda R. (January 18, 1993). "The Chemical Heritage Foundation: Putting the Past To Work". C&EN. 71 (3): 74–75. doi:10.1021/cen-v071n003.p074.
  27. ^ Brashear, Ronald S. V. (August 21–25, 2016). "Charles C. Price and the formation of the Chemical Heritage Foundation" (PDF). American Chemical Society Division of the History of Chemistry 252nd ACS National Meeting. p. 10. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  28. ^ Gussman, Neil. "The Power of John C. Haas's Good Name". Chemical Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original on 12 July 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  29. ^ Baykoucheva, Svetla (2008). "The Chemical Heritage Foundation: Past, Present, and Future Interview with Arnold Thackray". Chemical Information Bulletin. 60 (2): 10–13. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  30. ^ Price, Charles C. (1989). "Making History: The Challenge Met - And the Challenge Ahead". The Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry News. 6 (2): 1–2.
  31. ^ "The Chemical Heritage Foundation". The Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry News. 9 (2): 1, 16. 1992.
  32. ^ Salisbury, Stephan (January 3, 2018). "Chemical Heritage Foundation is morphing into the Science History Institute". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  33. ^ "Price Fellowship". Science History Institute. 2016-07-14. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  34. ^ "Anne Price  Obituary". Main Line Media News. October 9, 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  35. ^ a b c d e United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. Subcommittee on Arms Control, Oceans, and International Environment (1978). U.N. special session on disarmament: hearing before the Subcommittee on Arms Control, Oceans, and International Environment of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-fifth Congress, second session ... April 13, 1978. U.S. Govt. Print. Off. p. 55.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  36. ^ a b Baratta, Joseph Preston (2004). The politics of world federation (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 511. ISBN 9780275980689. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  37. ^ "Latest survival forum speaker". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 3, 1959. p. 9. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  38. ^ "A Universal United Nations: Fifteenth report [of the] Commission to Study the Organization of Peace". University of Central Florida Digital Library. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  39. ^ Price, Charles C. (1974). "Political Action for a Livable World". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 30 (4): 43–45. doi:10.1080/00963402.1974.11458108.
  40. ^ "A NATION-WIDE PROGRAM TO END NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTING". American Legion FBI Files. September 1, 1958.
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  42. ^ "Federation County Lines". Delaware County Daily Times. May 17, 1961. p. 9. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  43. ^ Chute, Eleanor (May 13, 1980). "U.S. Role As Called Threat". The Pittsburgh Press. p. 6. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  44. ^ Price, Charles C. (September 1983). "The Case for Disarmament: Some Personal Reflections on the United States and Disarmament". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 469: 144–154. doi:10.1177/0002716283469001014.
  45. ^ PRICE, CHARLES C. (19 April 1948). "The Scientist's Stake in World Government". Chemical & Engineering News. 26 (16): 1144. doi:10.1021/cen-v026n016.p1144.
  46. ^ a b Price, Charles C. (1983). "Short-handed Cruising Aids". Yachting. July: 105–113. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  47. ^ "Perpetual Trophies" (PDF). Annapolis Yacht Club. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
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  49. ^ Wallace, William N. (June 26, 1964). "Burgoo, 37-Foot Yawl, Wins Newport-to-Bermuda Race". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  50. ^ "Ogden Trevor McClurg Trophy" (PDF). Chicago Yacht Club. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  51. ^ "Your Neighbors: From Notre Dame to the U. of P. by Sail". The Philadelphia Inquirer. February 27, 1955. p. 160. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
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  53. ^ "Chemical Pioneer Award Winners". American Institute of Chemists. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
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External links

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