Kitty Hach-Darrow

“The water on this planet is all that we have. It needs to be cared for.”

A child of the Great Depression, Kathryn (Kitty) Hach-Darrow watched her family struggle to recover after they lost their car dealership. She knew that keeping things afloat meant getting creative. So she raised and sold a flock of turkeys to pay for her freshman year of college. And years later, when her husband, the chemist Clifford Hach, invented a new water-analysis system, she set out to create the market for it.

By introducing chemistry to the field of water analysis, the Hach Chemical Company could guarantee safe, clean drinking water in town after town throughout the United States. But people had to know about the new technology first. 

While also raising the couple’s three children, Hach-Darrow pioneered a direct-mail campaign that radically expanded the company; she even piloted her own plane to promote the analysis kits and distribute them to remote towns. Before retirement, Hach-Darrow guided the company to its current status as a $313 million global leader in water-purification technology.

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Catalyst Series: Women in Chemistry

Women in Chemistry

Follow the adventures of eight leading women in chemistry and celebrate their life-changing, chance-taking, thrill-seeking love of science. 

Reflections on Careers

Learn more about women's contributions to science through CHF's Women in Chemistry oral histories.

Stories from the Field

Listen to career insights and stories of scientific adventures from women in chemistry.