Frank H. Reed

1890 to 1957
Geochemistry

Frank H. ReedFrank H. Reed was born in Carroll County, Indiana. He earned an A.B. at Wabash College (Indiana) in 1911. He then taught chemistry at Wabash from 1913 to 1914. He received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1917 from the University of Chicago. He worked as a chemist at Sherwin-Williams Company (Chicago), Butterworth-Judson Corporation (New Jersey), and Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation and, in 1930, as a research and development chemist with DuPont. A year later, however, he joined the Illinois State Geological Survey as its first Chief Geochemist and Head of the new Geochemistry Section. During his tenure at the Survey, he developed research programs to help generate new uses and markets for the fluorspar and coal resources of Illinois.

Reed traveled to Germany to learn from experts there about making coke from coal. Coke is used as a fuel and as a reducing agent in smelting iron ore in a blast furnace. He created a well thought out program to determine the feasibility of using Illinois coals for metallurgical coal. In implementing that program, he hired Harold Jackman. Reed also worked with Orin W. Rees to establish one of the finest analytical laboratories for coal chemistry in the United States. He had a wide acquaintance among the mineral industries of Illinois, especially in the coke and steel industry. Reed was Chairman of the Gas and Fuel Division of the American Chemical Society from 1939 to 1940. He was also a member of the National Research Council's Committee on the Chemical Utilization of Coal from 1938 and was a fellow of the American Association of Science. In 1948, he traveled to postwar Tokyo to provide advice to the U.S. Army on the Japanese national coal research program.

He married Helen Louise Kennedy in 1917, and together they had two children, Sherman K. Reed and Mary Alice Sutherland. Reed is remembered as a very personable, outgoing person who had a sense of humor. He also played golf and enjoyed fishing.

Honored by: 
Morris W. Leighton
Citation Contributed by: 
William R. Roy