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Dr. Charles B. Dudley, 1842–1909

Nature volume 150, page 52 (11 July 1942) | Download Citation



EACH year, the American Society, for Testing Materials awards a medal for some outstanding contribution to research in engineering, materials, and to commemorate the eminent services of the Society's first president, Dr. Charles B. Dudley, who was born on July 14, 1842. Brought up in Chenango County, New York, Dudley at the age of twenty enlisted in the 114th New York Volunteers, fought in a number of battles during the Civil War, and was severely wounded. In 1865 he was free to resume his interrupted studies, and during the next nine years worked at the Oxford Academy, Chenango Co., Yale College and the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale College. Part of, his time was spent on newspaper work to provide him with necessary funds. On leaving Yale in 1874 with the degree of Ph. D,, he devoted a short time to teaching chemistry and physics at the University of Pennsylvania and at a Military Academy at Poughkeepsie ; and then in 1875 became chemist to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, with headquarters at Altoona, Pa., where he installed laboratories. Much of his work was of a pioneering character and it gradually spread to investigations on all the materials used in the building and working of a railway, from the laying of the track to the ventilation of carriages. Especially important were his researches on rails. Besides being the founder-president of the American Society for Testing Materials, he served as president of the American Chemical Society and at the Copenhagen Congress of the International Association for Testing Materials held in 1909 he was chosen president for the ensuing three years. Soon after his election, however, he died unexpectedly on December 21, at the age of sixty-seven.

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