Herbert Henry DOW

Family tree of Herbert Henry DOW


AmericanBorn Herbert Henry DOW

Canadian born, American chemical industrialist

Born on February 26, 1866 in Belleville, Ontario, Canada , Switzerland

Died on October 16, 1930 in Rochester, Minnesota, USA

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Herbert Henry Dow was born in Belleville, Ontario (Canada), the eldest child of Joseph Henry Dow, an inventor and mechanical engineer. Six weeks after his birth, the family returned to their hometown of Derby, Connecticut. They moved again in 1878, this time to Cleveland, Ohio (USA) to follow his father's job with the Derby Shovel Manufacturing Company.

Dow was a precocious child, often helping his father with mechanical problems, and inventing an incubator for chicken eggs before he was 12. Several years later he and his father coinvented a small steam turbine which the United States Navy used for many years in torpedo propulsion.
After graduating from high school in 1884, Dow enrolled in the Case School of Applied Science (now known as Case Western Reserve University). While at Case, he became a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He began specialized research into the chemical composition of brines in Ohio and nearby areas. He discovered that brine samples from Canton, Ohio and Midland, Michigan were very rich in bromine, which at the time was a primary ingredient in medicines and was used heavily in the fledgeling photographic industry. Following his graduation from Case in 1888, Dow worked for a year as a chemistry professor at Huron Street Hospital College in Cleveland, still continuing his research into the extraction of chemicals from brine.

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Geographical origins

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