Kolthoff, I.M. (Izaak Maurits), 1894-1993

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1894-02-11
Death 1993-03-04

Biographical notes:

Born in Almelo, Netherlands on 11 February 1894. Died on 4 March 1993. Education: Diploma, Pharmaceutical Institute, State University of Utrecht (1915). Ph. D., Chemistry, State University of Utrecht (1918). Employment: 1917-1927 State University of Utrecht, 1927- University of Minnesota.

From the description of Oral history interview with Izaak M. Kolthoff 1984 March 15. (Chemical Heritage Foundation). WorldCat record id: 186432900

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff, Ph.D. (1918) University of Utrecht. Professor and head, Division of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Minnesota (1927-1962). Internationally known pioneer and researcher in the field of analytical chemistry, with concentrations in potentiometry, conductomerty, polarography, and the formation and properties of precipitates. Izaak Kolthoff was born in Almelo, Holland on February 11, 1894. He studied under Professor Nicholas Schoorl at the University of Utrect, earning his Ph.D. in pharmacy and chemistry in 1918. Although Schoorl was himself a Professor of Pharmacy, it was he who drew Kolthoff's attention to early papers in electro-analytical chemistry and coprecipitation and advised Kolthoff to study analytical chemistry from a scientific perspective, rather than as an empirical art. Kolthoff served as conservator of the Pharmaceutical Institute at the University of Utrecht from 1917-1927. He was appointed as professor and head of the Division of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Minnesota in 1927, a position he held until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1962. After his retirement, he remained active as a researcher until the late 1980s. Kolthoff was best known as the father of analytical chemistry. His research dealt with analytical and physical chemistry. His main research topics included potentimetry, conductometry, polarography, theory and application of indicators, acid-base equilibria and titrations in aqueous and non-aqueous media, formation, properties and aging of precipitates, adsorption, coprecipitation, post-precipitation, and induced reactions. He is also credited in development of the polarograph, an instrument for recording polarization of electrolytes. During World War II he served as chairman of the Committee on Analytical research Methods and supervisor of three research projects for the U.S. Government on synethic or "cold process" rubber.

From the description of Izaak Maurits Kolthoff papers 1926-1994. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 429023856

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff, Ph.D. (1918) University of Utrecht. Professor and head, Division of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Minnesota (1927-1962). Internationally known pioneer and researcher in the field of analytical chemistry, with concentrations in potentiometry, conductomerty, polarography, and the formation and properties of precipitates.

Izaak Kolthoff was born in Almelo, Holland on February 11, 1894. He studied under Professor Nicholas Schoorl at the University of Utrect, earning his Ph.D. in pharmacy and chemistry in 1918. Although Schoorl was himself a Professor of Pharmacy, it was he who drew Kolthoff's attention to early papers in electro-analytical chemistry and coprecipitation and advised Kolthoff to study analytical chemistry from a scientific perspective, rather than as an empirical art. Kolthoff served as conservator of the Pharmaceutical Institute at the University of Utrecht from 1917-1927. He was appointed as professor and head of the Division of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Minnesota in 1927, a position he held until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1962. After his retirement, he remained active as a researcher until the late 1980s.

Kolthoff was best known as the father of analytical chemistry. His research dealt with analytical and physical chemistry. His main research topics included potentimetry, conductometry, polarography, theory and application of indicators, acid-base equilibria and titrations in aqueous and non-aqueous media, formation, properties and aging of precipitates, adsorption, coprecipitation, post-precipitation, and induced reactions. He is also credited in development of the polarograph, an instrument for recording polarization of electrolytes. During World War II he served as chairman of the Committee on Analytical research Methods and supervisor of three research projects for the U.S. Government on synethic or "cold process" rubber.

Always a political and social justice activist, in the early 1950s Kolthoff got into trouble with the Un-American Activities Committee after criticizing Senator Joseph McCarthy's persecution of perceived communists. According to the committee, Kolthoff belonged to thirty-two subversive organizations; however, no action was taken against him.

Kolthoff was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary member of the American Pharmaceutical Association, and an honorary member of eight foreign chemical societies. He received Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from the University of Chicago (1955), the University of Groningen (1964), Brandeis University (1974), and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1975). In 1947 the Netherlands Government knighted him a Commander in the Order of Oranje-Nassau. He was the recipient of many awards and medals, including the Robert Boyle Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry in England. In honor of his eightieth birthday, the Division of Analytical Chemistry of the American Chemical Society sponsored the I. M. Kolthoff 80th Anniversary Symposium. He is the author or co-author of nine books and some 900 publications; he is one of the two editors of the multi-volume Treatise on Analytical Chemistry .

In 1972, the Regents of the University of Minnesota named the new chemistry research building Kolthoff Hall in his honor. In 1979, the faculty of the Department of Chemistry established the Kolthoff Lectureship. Kolthoff never married, and lived most of his life a few blocks from the Chemistry building, first on the 6th floor of the Campus Club in Coffman Union and then in a Comstock Hall apartment. Long after his official retirement, he spent his days in his office, working with his lab assistant since 1955, Miron Chantooni. He died at the age of 99 on March 4, 1993.

From the guide to the Izaak Maurits Kolthoff papers, 1926-1994, (University of Minnesota Libraries. University of Minnesota Archives [uarc])

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w62b9qtr
Ark ID:
w62b9qtr
SNAC ID:
75888542

Subjects:

  • Chemists--Biography
  • Rubber--Research
  • Chemistry, Analytic--History--20th century
  • Chemistry, analytic
  • Chemists--Interviews

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)