Brown, Herbert C.
1979 letter sending an edited manuscript on hydride reductions to the Chemical and Engineering News
Autograph ID: 5206
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1912–2004) Ukrainian Jewish-born American chemist, taught at Purdue University 1947 until his death. During WW II, he discovered a method for producing sodium borohydride (NaBH4), which can be used to produce boranes, compounds of boron and hydrogen. The development of the chemistry of boron hydrides led to new experimental techniques and theoretical concepts. Boron hydrides have been studied as potential fuels, for rockets and for automotive uses. His work led to the discovery of the first general method for producing asymmetric pure enantiomers. Co-recipient of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (with Georg Wittig) for his work with organoboranes.
TLS on 11 x 8 ½ “Purdue University Department of Chemistry” letterhead, West Lafayette, Indiana, February 19 1979, to David Kiefer, Chemical and Engineering News. He encloses (not present) an edited version of “Hydride Reductions (1939-1979)…” with minor additions and changes discussed over the telephone. He believes the edited manuscript “…might be helpful in minimizing the chances for possible errors.” He also suggests that two named individuals are best identified with their last names only so he did not supply their first names. One small addition in his hand.
The chemistry laureates were annnounced on October 19, 8 months after this letter. For the first time in its history, the banquet was cancelled in Oslo in 1979 because laureate Mother Teresa refused to attend, saying the money would be better spent on the poor. She used the US$7,000 that was to be spent on the banquet to hold a dinner for 2,000 homeless people on Christmas Day. ”