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Edward Demille Campbell

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Professor Edward Demille Campbell (1863-1925) of the University of Michigan

1925 Obituary [1]

Professor EDWARD DEMILLE CAMPBELL, whose death occurred at Ann Arbor, Michigan, on September 18, was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1863, and was the youngest of the three sons of Judge James V. Campbell, a member of Michigan's first and most famous Supreme Court.

He received his university training at the University of Michigan, graduating from that institution in 1886. For four years thereafter he worked with three coal and iron companies as technical chemist, and was called back to his Alma Mater in 1890 to become assistant professor of metallurgy. From that time until his death he remained in that university, his title changing numerous times as the growth in the number of students and staff required adjustments.

In 1902 he organised the Department of Chemical Engineering, and in 1905 was appointed Director of the Chemical Laboratory, which latter position he held up to the time of his death. On April 12, 1892, while working on a problem concerning the identification of the hydrocarbon gases evolved during the solution of a steel which had been subjected to specific heat treatment, a violent explosion occurred, which resulted in total blindness to Professor Campbell. Ten days later he was back in the university, conducting his classes and supervising laboratory work. In his later years he gave up lecturing and spent most of his time directing research, con- ducting reading classes, and attending to his administrative duties as director of the laboratory. Each year an advanced student in chemistry worked with him as his private assistant, and the benefit received from such constant contact with him may be judged by the fact that the greater number of those assistants are now filling important positions in the industrial world.

Professor Campbell's contributions to scientific literature number seventy-seven papers; those in his early years of work dealt with Portland cement and problems in analytical chemistry, while later his attention was directed to the correlation of the chemical and physical properties of steel, regarding which he wrote about forty original articles, of which twenty were contributed to the Iron and Steel Institute. Professor Campbell was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1905. He was also a member of the Faraday Society, the American Chemical Society, the Washington Academy of Sciences, and Tau Beta Pi, and an honorary member of the American Society for Steel Treating. He was an ardent Rotarian, seldom missing the weekly luncheons of that club, and was also much interested in the Research Club of the University of Michigan, of which he was president during one year.

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