The Quiet Man Who Helped Make the Noyes (+)

A painting and plaque honoring Arthur Amos Noyes hangs in the entrance of the building that bears his name.
A painting and plaque honoring Arthur Amos Noyes hang in the entrance of the building that bears his name.

 

Our Summer 2015 issue’s examination of all things noise omitted one homophonic subject also of interest to the Institute—the Arthur Amos Noyes Laboratory for Chemical Physics, built in honor of and named for the chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from 1926 to 1936.

Although named for Noyes, the building was actually built with funds provided by Caltech alum Chester F. Carlson. Carlson graduated in 1930 with a degree in physics and went on to invent an electrophotographic process that came to be called “xerography”—Greek for “dry writing.” (Carlson described the xerographic process in a 1940 issue of E&S.)

The self-effacing inventor and philanthropist, who gave away more than $100 million to foundations and universities, requested that his contribution to the building remain anonymous until after his death.

Some 21 years after his 1968 death, Carlson was remembered by the U.S. Postal Service by a stamp issued in his honor to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his invention. (See third page of the linked PDF.)

The 92,000-square-foot Noyes Laboratory, opened in 1967, bears plaques honoring Carlson and Noyes.

Carlson2
The Noyes building honors Chester F. Carlson, who was instrumental in its creation, with this plaque bearing his likeness.