Max Engelmann-Du Pont Chemist
Dr. Max Engelmann-Photo Courtesy of Curt Engelmann
Du Pont December 28, 1945 Publication:
RETIRING CHEMIST AIDED IN DEVELOPMENT OF "BETTER THINGS FOR BETTER LIVING"
A typical example of how "Better Things for Better Living" result from the efforts of Du Pont chemists was focused to our attention this week by a review of
the activities of Dr. Max Engelmann, who retires from Jackson Laboratory, Monday.
Written by Dr. H. W. Daudt and read by him at a party in honor of his retiring confrere, the review lists some of the developments toward which Dr.
Engelmann has contributed. It is a source of satisfaction to realize how our products—those which such men as Dr. Engelmann develop and such as the
rest of us help to make—are serving mankind.
Said Dr. Daudt, "One common characteristic of Dr. Engelmann's work is that all of it has been directed to the welfare of his fellow men. His efforts have
provided us with better sleeping, eating, homes, sanitation, clothing
and even greater pep. Here's how:
"Judging from his patents on barbituric acid derivatives, Dr. Engelmann's first thought must have been that we needed more and better sleep. Then he
must have had a change of thought and decided that perhaps more pep
was desirable. As a result he did some work on purine derivatives for use as stimulants.
"His outstanding contributions have been along the line of organic compounds of mercury. In this field alone he has taken out 30 U. S. patents. Most of
this work in this country has been directed toward combating diseases in plants and plant products.
I refer here to Semesan, Ceresan and Lignasan. The first two have found extensive usage as seed disinfectants
and have resulted in greatly increased yields of farm and garden crops. Lignasan, a relatively new product, is finding
more and more usage for the preservation of lumber.
"The above developments have also been a source of an excellent income for the Du Pont Company and its partially-owned subsidiary, the Bayer-Semesan
Company. In fact, the latter company was built primarily around the inventions of Dr. Engelmann.
"In more recent years, he has devoted his energies to a diversity of products, including water repellents, surface active agents and local anesthetics. He
has contributed much to the success of "Zelan", detergents, for example,
Betaine, and the Gardinol type products. His work on local anesthetics is not as well known as it's merit warranted because the field was not exploited by
the Du Pont Company. This work included the synthesis of a number of heterocyclic compounds, for example, imidazoles, etc.
"Dr. Engelmann even delved into azo dyes, his primary object being to make dyes of therapeutic value
"In all, Dr. Engelmann has taken out 59 U. S. patents, 40 of them on accomplishments at Jackson Laboratory. The remaining 19 were taken out before he
came to America. A breakdown of his patents shows that: 30 related to
organic compounds of mercury, 5 to water repellents, 3 to barbituric acid derivatives, 3 to surface active agents, 3 to azo dyes, 5 to heterocyclic
compounds and the remainder to miscellaneous products
"Our story would not be complete unless we included references to the help that he has graciously given most all of us at Jackson Laboratory. His
knowledge and his advice which was always freely given have pulled us out of many a tight spot. Dr. Engelmann will be greatly missed by all of us.
"Dr. Engelmann has done his fellow men many a good turn during his illustrious career. His backlog of good turns is so large that he can well afford to sit
back and regale himself in memories of his accomplishments. We wish him
the best of enjoyment in this."
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