National Museum of American History (U.S.) Division of Physical Sciences
Union Chemical Manufacturing Company
1.42 cu. ft.: 5 boxes
Glass photonegatives: 2 items
Wurtz, chemist and editor, contributed to theory and practice of chemistry. Studied at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton), where interest in science was awakened by studies under Joseph Henry and John Torrey. State chemist and geologist, New Jersey Geological Survey, 1854-1856. Appointed professor of chemistry and pharmacy, National Medical College of Washington, D.C. (later George Washingtonn University), 1858. During this period served as chemical examiner, U.S. Patent Office.
Opened a private laboratory in New York for general consulting work, 1861. During 1877-1887 developed processes for increasing yields of paraffin oils and other by-products of coal distillation. Devoted remaining years of his life to private consulting practice and received numerous patents relating to the distillation of paraffin hydrocarbons and other chemical products.
Business correspondence relating to Wurtz's investigations in petroleum distillation and the dry distillation of coal; notebooks; catalogs; photographs; books; and a certificate. Includes letter to Joseph Henry from Wurtz (Nov. 9, 1861), relating to warlike inventions.
Henry Wurtz Papers, 1861-1885, Archives Center, National Museum of American History