CHF receives oral history grant from Gerstacker Foundation

November 30, 2002

PHILADELPHIA - November 21, 2002 -- The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) has received a grant from the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation in the amount of $250,000 to endow the E. N. Brandt Oral History Program. The new program will record and make known the growth of the American chemical industries in the words of the entrepreneurs, scientists, and managers who made the growth and expansion possible.

"Oral history is at the core of our work in preserving the history and heritage of the chemical industry and molecular sciences," said Regina Lee Blaszczyk, director of CHF's Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry. "The E. N. Brandt Oral History Program allows us to record the experiences of key players in the chemical industry and to expand our work in oral history and preservation."

Hired by The Dow Chemical Company's public relations department in 1953, E. N. Brandt worked as director of public relations, executive speechwriter, and company historian. In 1988 Brandt initiated research on the history of Dow, resulting in the 1996 publication of Growth Company: Dow Chemical's First Century. As part of his research, Brandt conducted hundreds of oral-history interviews with Dow executives, employees, scientists, and engineers. Today, Brandt is widely recognized as an outstanding practitioner of oral history and a leader both in its methods and broader historical context.
The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation
The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation was founded by Mrs. Eda U. Gerstacker in 1957 in memory of her husband. Its primary purpose is to carry on, indefinitely, financial aid to charities of all types supported by Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Gerstacker during their lifetimes. These charities are concentrated in the states of Michigan and Ohio.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation
The Chemical Heritage Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization, operates a historical research library and galleries; creates and circulates traveling exhibits; develops and disseminates educational materials; publishes books and Chemical Heritage newsmagazine; offers fellowships and travel grants; conducts oral histories with leading scientists and industrialists; and hosts awards, conferences, and public events. For more information, visit

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