Stine, Charles Milton Altland

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(b. Norwich, Connecticut, 18 October 1882; d. Wilmington, Delaware, 28 May 1954),

organic chemistry.

Stine was the elder son of Milton Henry Stine, a Lutheran clergyman, and Mary Jane Altland Stine. He attended Gettysburg College, from which he received the B.A. in 1901, the B.S. in 1903, the M.A. in 1904, and the M.S. in 1905. He was awarded the Ph.D. by Johns Hopkins University in 1907, the same year in which he joined E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. During the early years of his lifelong association with Du Pont, Stine developed a number of products and processes in organic chemistry. He was one of the few American researchers familiar with the German synthetic dye process and his expertise enabled Du Pont to build, during World War I, a dye intermediates plant that was the first major synthetic organic chemical facility in the United States.

Stine became assistant chemical director of Du Pont in 1919; he was made director five years later. He had long been convinced that the company should undertake a program of fundamental research like those sponsored by the German chemical industry. Such programs were at that time virtually unknown in the United States outside the universities, and Stine—having developed research curricula in organic chemistry, chemical engineering, and catalytic processes, and having built a staff of exceptional men—was able to establish, by 1927, the research policy that made Du Pont an industrial pioneer in American science. Within a decade Du Pont’s chemical department, under Stine’s direction, had produced neoprene, the first general-purpose synthetic rubber, and nylon, the first noncellulosic synthetic fiber. More important, Stine’s program gave new impetus and practical application to polymer chemistry and led to the creation of whole new families of fibers, films, plastics, paints, and elastomers and related products.

Stine was named vice-president and Executive Committee adviser on research in 1930. During his tenure he inaugurated and promoted research in agriculture and in animal nutrition and medicine. The animal research facilities that were completed in 1952 near Newark, Delaware, were named in his honor. He retired as vice-president in 1945, because of ill-health, but remained as a director of Du Pont until his death from a heart attack nine years later. He was survived by his wife, Martha E. Molly, whom he had married in 1912, and by their two daughters.

Stine’s ability to organize and direct research on a wide variety of subjects brought him international recognition. He was a member of many scientific organizations, and particularly active in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Franklin Institute. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a trustee of Gettysburg College and the University of Delaware, from both of which he received honorary degrees. The American Section of the Society of the Chemical Industry awarded Stine its Perkin Medal for 1939, “for valuable work in applied chemistry”.


I. Original Works. Stine’s writings include “Effect of One Salt on Hydrating Power of Another Salt Present in the Same Solution,” in American Chemical Journal, 39 (1908), 313–402, written with Harry C. Jones; “Organic Synthesis and the du Pont Company,” in Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, 19 (1918), 569–571, written with C. L. Reese; “Chemical Engineering in Modern Industry,” in Transactions of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 21 (1928), 45–54: “The Chemist’s Aid to Agriculture,” in Chemicals, 30 , no. 25 (1928), 7–9, and no. 26 (1928), 7–8; “Industrial Chemistry,” in F. W. Wile, ed., A Century of Industrial Progress (Garden City, N.Y., 1928), 335–359; “Recovery of Bromine From Sea Water,” in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 21 (1929), 434–442; “Structure of an Industrial Research Organization,” ibid., 657–659; “The Use of Power in Chemical Industries,” in Chemical Age (London), 21 (1929), 237, also in National Engineer, 33 (1929), 273–274; “Chemical Research: A Factor of Prime Importance in American Industry,” In Journal of Chemical Education, 9 (1932), 2032–2039; “Coordination of Laboratory and Plant Effort,” in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 24 (1932), 191–193; and “Fundamental and Applied Chemical Research,” in Malcolm Ross, ed., Profitable Practice in Industrial Research (New York–London, 1932), 104–118.

See also “Relation of Chemical to Other Industry,” in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 25 (1933), 487–495; “Approach to Chemical Research Based on a Specific Example,” in Journal of the Franklin Institute, 218 (1934), 397–410; “The Place of Fundamental Research in an Industrial Research Organization,” in Transactions of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 32 (1936), 127–137; “The Value of Fundamental Research to Industry,” in Carnegie Institute of Technology, Coal Research Laboratory, Proceedings of Technical Meeting . . . December 3,1936 (Pittsburg, 1937), 48; “Training Tomorrow’s Industrial Leaders,” in Transactions of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 34 (1938), 643–656; and “The Rise of the Organic Chemical Industry in the United States,” in Smithsonian Report for 1940 (1941), 177–192, reprinted as Smithsonian Institution Publication no. 3611 (1941).

II. Secondary Literature. See A. D. McFadyen, “Personalities in Chemistry (Charles M. A. Stine),” in Chemical Industries, 46 , no. 6 (June 1940), 742; and “Perkin Medal,” in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 32 , no. 2 (Feb. 1940), 137.

Bettina F. Sargeant