Reference Entry

Giauque, William Francis

George B. Kauffman

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 |
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:

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Giauque, William Francis (12 May 1895–28 March 1982), chemist and educator, was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, the son of William Tecumseh Sherman Giauque, a railroad worker, and Isabella Jane Duncan. Because his parents were U.S. citizens their three children, although born in Canada, also had U.S. citizenship. When Giauque was a boy, the family lived in Michigan, where he attended school until the age of thirteen, when his father died and the family returned to his hometown. That same year Giauque entered the Niagara Falls Collegiate and Vocational Institute, intending to complete the two-year commercial course so that he, as the oldest son, could help support the family. His mother, however, assisted by the family of local chemist John W. Beckman (for whom she worked part time as a seamstress), persuaded Giauque to switch to the five-year college preparatory program. He initially thought that he would pursue a major in electrical engineering, but in order to make some money as well as gain some engineering experience, he worked for two years at the Hooker Electrochemical Company in Niagara Falls, New York, and his experience in the company’s laboratory led him to study chemical rather than electrical engineering....

Reference Entry.  2188 words. 

Subjects: Science and Mathematics ; Education ; Medicinal Chemistry

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