Title and Description Page
Early Years 1
Born in New York City, New York. One brother. Father a sugar broker. Lived in Short Hills, New Jersey, until father’s death. Moved to Newport, Rhode Island; spent summers in Holderness, New Hampshire. Nature walks with grandmother. Attended several different schools. Mother’s work. Liked Latin; good at math and chemistry. Grandfather one of first promoters of U.S. Air Force after World War I. Maternal grandfather U.S. Representative from Rhode Island. Large family plot in Arlington National Cemetery.
College Years 11
Matriculated at Vassar College, which mother and aunt had attended.
Scholarships. Cooperative housing. First-year fumbles. Originally interested in bacteriology but switched to chemistry. Not enough drive for medical school. Returning soldiers at Vassar. Physical education requirement. Liked golf. Some jobs in chemistry lab. Always wanted to be lab person, not academic.
Early Employment 19
Went with friend to Hayden Chemicals. Styrene odor. No other women chemists at Hayden. Accidents and safety. Felt there was no particular bias against women at work. Left Hayden for McNeil Laboratories. Trip to Europe. Working in pillow department at Strawbridge.
Back to Chemistry 26
University of Pennsylvania Medical School. “Liver Local.” Ruth Brown. I.S.
Ravdin and Jonathan Rhodes. On to Rohm and Haas. Working on sigatoka, a banana pest. Frank Glavis, the blind chemist. Taking Helen Tucker’s place upon her retirement. Finding and writing descriptions of patents. Reading German and French. Began information bulletin. Thyroid trouble. Learned Braille. “Downsized” by Rohm and Haas. Went to Mobil Research Labs. Early computers, located in California. Data management; thesaurus. Small group of information people. Eugene Garfield. Cassandra Burcham.
American Chemical Society 42
Met husband, John Gall, fluorine chemist working at Pennsalt. Rediscovered the outdoors. Hiking. Maintaining a stretch of Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. Favorite hikes. Mt. Washington and other president mountains. Mt. Lafayette. Pacific Crest Trail.
General Thoughts 51
Changes in chemistry field. Women and tenure. Necessity for PhD. Challenges for women today, in science generally and in academia particularly. Tenure obstacles for women. Gall a “quiet pusher”; helped people worldwide while at Mobil. Need for good teachers in chemistry; her experience with polymer science class at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. Professors at Vassar. Interviewer’s characterization of Gall as having humor, curiosity, charity. Her philosophy is not to worry about what she can’t change. Keeping up with current topics; cuts articles for family and friends: “I have the scissors; they have the wastebasket.” Finds people interesting. Still volunteers and is member of two book groups.