Fonds MG 1050 - Otto Maass Fonds

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Otto Maass Fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.

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CA MUA MG 1050

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  • 1908-1961 (Creation)
    Maass, O. (Otto), 1890-1961

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32 cm of textual records.

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Biographical history

Otto Maass was born in New York, but moved to Montréal at an early age. He earned his B.A. from McGill in 1911 and his M.Sc. in 1913. His postgraduate research at the University of Berlin was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I, at which time Maass accepted a lectureship at McGill. He left to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard (1919), but returned in 1923 as Macdonald Professor of Physical Chemistry. He was appointed chairman of the department in 1937. During the Second World War, Maass combined the administration of chemical defence research with the directorship of the Pulp and Paper Research Institute. After his retirement in 1955, he became principal research officer in the National Research Council’s division of chemistry. He passed away in 1961.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of general professional correspondence, 1913-1961, including Maass’ outgoing letters for 1946-1954. Topics covered include defence research, the Pulp and Paper Institute, N.R.C. appointments, visits of scientists, and political questions (e.g. letters to and from Lester Pearson on NATO and the nuclear deterrant). There are also letters of recommendation by Maass, and personal communications from colleagues. A special binder of congratulatory letters marks his election to the Royal Society (1940), and there are similar files on his retirement (1955), and of condolences to his widow at his death (1961). Maass also assembled photostat copies of letters by eminent 19th century British scientists addressed to his great uncle, Prof. Plucker of Bonn.

Studies and research are documented by a physics laboratory notebook (1908-1909), and a "summary of data on hydrogen peroxide" collected in collaboration with W. Hatcher (1918-1919). A few addresses on the Canadian Institute of Chemistry (1939), the Pulp and Paper Research Institute (1945), and the relation between the Defence Research Board and the universities are included.

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  • English

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830, 1700, 2521, 89-079, 97-044

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