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Samuel Ruben Papers

  • 1932–1984
  • American
    Created and used by Samuel Ruben
  • 4.5 linear feet
    Papers, artifacts
  • Gift of Laurens Ruben
  • 89:05
  • Copyright restrictions may apply (contact CHF archivist).


Includes laboratory notebooks, correspondence, reports, and project summaries.

Background note

Samuel Ruben was born on July 14, 1900, in Harrison, New Jersey. He developed an interest in electrochemistry at a young age; however, he had minimal formal training in the area. Though he attended college briefly, he withdrew after a short period, as the stress was making him physically ill. Nevertheless, he continued with home study and experimentation and soon gained enough confidence to seek employment in a laboratory setting.

From 1918 to 1921 Ruben worked for the Electrochemical Products Laboratory. Beginning in 1921 he helped found a laboratory in New Rochelle, New York, which eventually became known as Ruben Laboratories, with Ruben as president for much of his life. Ruben worked on numerous projects related to the field of electrochemistry and became a well-recognized scientist and inventor. He invented the mercury primary cell, the dry electrolyte condenser, the rectifier tube, and flexible wire with ceramic insulation. He also helped invent the cardio-pacemaker by developing an appropriate battery for the device. He worked extensively with the Duracell Company on such projects as alkaline dry batteries and is credited with revolutionizing battery technology. His notable inventions earned him the Inventor of the Year Award in 1965 from the Research Institute at George Washington University. Ruben was an American Chemical Society Fellow and a member of the Electrochemical Society. He passed away in 1988.

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