ACS President: Arthur D. Little (1863-1935)

Served as President: 1912 and 1913

When his “Cellulose Products Company” failed, Eastman Kodak purchased the patents for the first nonflammable motion picture film

After reorganizing his original company, his major economic breakthrough occurred when General Motors hired his company’s R&D lab


  • Graduated, 1881-1884, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Career Highlights:

  • Chemist, Richmond Paper Company, Rhode Island, 1884
  • Griffin & Little, Boston, MA, 1886 -1900. Founded with Roger B. Griffin. Little controlled firm after Griffin’s death in 1893
  • Arthur D. Little, Inc., Boston, MA, 1900 – 1935. Initially combined with William H. Walker as Little & Walker. In 1909, reorganized as Arthur D. Little, Inc. which became largest chemical research firm in US. Retired as chairman of the board in 1935

Notable Accomplishments:

Patented carbon filaments from cellulose and water proofed/waxed papers, improved many processes in the paper, fuel and tanning industries and cracking of petroleum

Wrote The Chemistry of Paper Making, 1894 which was the first American textbook on the topic.

Major Awards and Honors:

  • Memorial lectureship at MIT in his honor
  • Perkins Medal, 1931

Service to Science:

  • President, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1919
  • President, Society of Chemical Industry, 1928-9

Did You Know

. . . that his enthusiasm and innovative spirit were reflected in the foundation of the campus magazine “Tech” at MIT?

. . . that he taught papermaking at MIT from 1893 – 1916?