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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 13 Issue 1 (2008) pp 22-27

The 150th Birthday of the First American Professor at the ETH, Frederic Pearson Treadwell (1857–1918)

G. Wayne Craig,* and George B. Kauffman

*Lead Finding Research, Oberwilerstrasse 76 CH-4102 Binningen, Switzerland, and Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,

Published online: 1 February 2008

Abstract. Frederic Pearson Treadwell (1857–1918) was the first American chemist to accept a permanent position at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland. His love for chemistry made a lasting impact on analytical, inorganic, and physical chemistry, which is still seen today.  It was a small ripple in chemistry terms that began 150 years ago, which was relinquished to his son, William Dupré Treadwell (1885–1959), the second American chemist at the ETH.  Today this event compares with a tsunami of American chemists who arrive in Switzerland, bringing with them their ideas, creativity, enthusiasm, and spirit of adventure.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; biography; physical chemistry; electrochemistry; inorganic chemistry; qualitative analysis; quantitative analysis; analytical chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: February 1, 2008

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