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H. Carrington Bolton

Henry Carrington Bolton, chemist and mineral collector, was born in New York City on 28 January 1843. He was graduated at Columbia in 1862, and then studied chemistry in Paris under Wurtz and Dumas, in Heidelberg under Bunsen, in Goettingen under Wohler, and in Berlin under Hofmann. In 1866 he received the degree of PhD from the Unversity of Goettingen, his thesis being on the "Fluorine Compounds of Uranium." He then spent some years in travel, and from 1872 till 1877 was assistant in quantitative analysis in the Columbia School of Mines. In 1874 he was called to the chair of chemistry in the Woman's Medical College of the New York Infirmary, which he resigned in 1877, when he became professor of chemistry and natural science in Trinity College. He taught chemistry at Trinity College, and over the next decade, he opened its new chemical laboratory, built an outstanding 3,000-piece mineral collection, published a student guide to quantitative analysis, and published three papers on the use of organic acids in the identification of minerals.

The celebration of the centennial of chemistry at Northumberland, Pennsylvania, the home of Joseph Priestley, who discovered oxygen in 1774, was suggested and brought about by Dr. Bolton. Among his investigations, that of the action of organic acids on minerals is perhaps the most important; but most of his work has been literary, and his private collection of early chemical books was unsurpassed in the United States. Dr. Bolton was a prominent member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was its general secretary in 1878 and 1879, and vice-president of the chemical section in 1882. For several years he was corresponding secretary of the New York Academy of Sciences.

He was a large contributor to chemical literature, and his numerous papers may be found in the American Chemist, "Proceedings of the New York Academy of Sciences, Chemical News (London), and similar periodicals. In 1883 he began the annual preparation of a "Record of the Progress of Chemistry" for the annual reports of the Smithsonian institution. Among his compilations are Literature of Uranium (1870, revised ed., 1886) ; Literature of Manganese (1877); and an extensive Catalogue of Scientific and Technical Periodicals, 1665-1882 (Smithsonian institution, Washington, 1885). He is the author of Student's Guide in Quantitative Analysis (New York, 1879), and has edited several minor chemical textbooks. There is a Bolton Society at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia.

Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography
Dictionary of American Biography (1928-1936)
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