ACS President: Charles F. Chandler (1836-1924)

Served as President: 1881 and 1889

Is known as the Father of Modern Sanitation

With his brother, William Henry, he founded the American Chemist, the first chemical journal in America


  • Ph.D., 1856, University of Goettingen, Analytical Chemistry

Career Highlights:

  • Janitor-assistant, lab manager, lecturer, Union College, Schenectady, NY, 1856-1864
  • Chair, chemistry, then Dean, School of Mines, Columbia University, 1864-1897
  • Chemist, New York City Municipal Board of Health, 1866–1873
  • President, New York Metropolitan Board of Health, 1874–1883

Notable Accomplishments:

Led movement in New York City to clean up “smells” by developing ways to determine sources of specific odors. Educated public on sources of smells and how to locate them.

Major Awards and Honors:

Service to Science:

  • Chair, Priestley Centennial, 1874, first national gathering of US chemists
  • Co-founder, American Chemical Society, 1876

Did You Know

. . . that he started a chemical museum, later named the Chandler Chemical Museum in his honor, to highlight the accomplishments in modern industrial and analytical chemistry, located at Columbia University, where many items are still on display?

. . . that he was an expert witness in legal cases and patent disputes?

. . . that he was the primary subject of a recent article: Melanie Kieche, “The Smell Detectives”, Chemical Heritage, Summer 2011, pp. 32-36?

Former ACS President Charles F. Chandler