Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Randomness - a biography of the tangentially related Charles Macintosh and a fantastic photo of the actually related John Maclean, Jr.

In perusing the Google, I just found a biography of Charles Macintosh (chemist and inventor of Macintosh waterproof fabrics) by his son George Macintosh - mentor and special friend of professor of chemistry at Princeton, John Maclean, Sr. Phebe's granddaughter, Phoebe Bainbridge, married John Maclean, Sr. and they named one of their sons George Macintosh Maclean in honor of his friend. (This is explained possibly more clearly, with pictures, in this post. Thank you for your patience while I ramble.)

I like this thing I've stumbled on of sons writing biographies of their fathers. Earnest, impersonal (largely), career-highpoints-listing biographies of their fathers. I need to read both that I've found much more carefully.

BTW, this has nothing to do with anything, other than the fact that I believe this is a wonderful photograph. Just wonderful. This is a photograph of another of John and Phoebe's sons, John Maclean Jr., who was the 10th president of Princeton University (The College of New Jersey, as was), taken towards the end of his life. It's wonderful. Have I mentioned that? This John Maclean (Jr.) also wrote a biography of his father, John Maclean, Sr., the chemistry professor and his biography includes a good deal about George Macintosh, who was a chemist as his father, Charles Macintosh, was.

Lots of chemists here. I like it. In my past life (meaning from high school all the way through a post-doc), I studied chemistry. Studied the hell out of it, actually. But then I gave it up. Oddly, though, before I quit, I post-docced (sp?) for a Scottish professor of chemistry, who happens to now be at Princeton. How's that for weird? I wonder if he knows who John Maclean (Sr.) is. Or Jr., for that matter. He should.

Anyway, I am amazed at the link between Phebe and all these chemists. Somehow I was supposed to do this. Or something. I can't help but think magically about it. I do so love to think magically.

Next post? More rambling. And I delve into a fictionalized account of Commodore William Bainbridge's upbringing in Middletown. It is oddly specific in detail and it is oddly lacking in Phebe. Which makes me sad. What if she went insane? Will I ever know what happened? How can she not exist in these accounts? The last thing written about her, that I've found, is from 1751. She lived another forty years. I just have to hope it's out there and I just have yet to find it.

Forging ahead - Penny

1 comment:

  1. Testing that no one can comment. Maybe it's just Twinsie. With her excuses. Ha.