Clark, George L. (George Lindenberg) (1892-1969) | University of Illinois Archives
George ("G. L.") Lindenberg Clark (1892-1969) was professor of chemistry (1927-53), head of the Division of Analytical Chemistry (1927-53), and professor emeritus (1953-69) at the University of Illinois (UI). He was a renowned analytical chemist and X-ray scientist best known for his pioneering development of X-ray technologies and instrumentation methods for use in scientific research and analysis.
Clark was born on September 6, 1892, in Anderson, Indiana, to Olive Burnett and Ralph B. Clark. He earned a BA from DePauw University (1914) as well as a MS (1914) and PhD (1918) from the University of Chicago, where he studied chemistry and physics. After completing his formal education, Clark was associate professor at Vanderbilt University (1919-21); national research fellow at Harvard (1922-24); and assistant professor of applied chemical research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (1924-27), where he established the first analytical X-ray laboratory in the United States. He joined the faculty at UI in 1927 as professor and head of analytical chemistry. His research and work explored the applications of "X-ray analyses to a wide variety of materials, including metals and minerals, natural and synthetic fibers, natural and synthetic rubber, clays, carbon black, storage battery plates, corks and waxes" (Sch. of Chem. Sci.).
Over the course of his career, Clark oversaw the research of more than 85 doctoral candidates. He also wrote over 360 research papers in addition to publishing Applied X-Rays (1927); A Basic Course in Theory and Practice of Quantitative Chemical Analysis (1949); and (as editor) the Encyclopedia of Chemistry (1956). Clark was active in his field, including as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); honorary member of the Radiological Society of North America; and founder and chairman of the Electron Microscope Society (1942). Clark was widely recognized, including with the Grasselli Medal from the Society of Chemical Industry (1932); an honorary doctorate from DePauw University (1937); and the Mehl Medal from the Congress of Metals (1944). The UI's first dedicated X-ray laboratory (the George L. Clark X-Ray Facility) was named in his honor in 1952. He retired as professor emeritus in 1953.
Clark was married to Mary Mason Johnson, and they had five children. He died in 1969.
"Professor Clark, UI Emeritus, Dies at 76," News Gazette, January, 8, 1969.
"George L. Clark," School of Chemical Sciences (UIUC), accessed May 15, 2020, https://scs.illinois.edu/resources/facilities/x-ray-laboratory/george-l-clark.