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E. William Jensen

E. William Jensen

Detail of Image, CHF Collections, Photograph by Douglas Lockard

  • Born: April 18, 1932, Copenhagen, Denmark

  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0319
Interview Dates: August 10, 2005 and October 19, 2005 and March 9, 2006
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Interviewers: David C. Brock and Christophe Lécuyer
No. of pages: 99
Minutes: 439
Sponsor: Chemical History of Electronics
Chemical History of Electronics

  Abstract of Interview

E. William Jensen begins his interview by discussing his family background. He speaks about his educational experiences and how his hobbies influenced his future decisions in the technology industry. Jensen converses about his early career at General Transistor Corporation and the forming of Geoscience Nuclear Division of Geoscience Instruments Company. Jensen speaks of his contacts with industry giants including E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Inc., Hercules Chemical Company Inc., and the Pellon Corporation. He also talks about the impact of the competition on his businesses. The competition included Rohm and Haas Company, the Monsanto Company and Merck and Company. Jensen continues the interview by talking about Geoscience Instruments Corporation, his relationship with DuPont and the development of Politex and Corfam. Finally, Jensen shares stories about other developments that he was a part of including polishing glass for TVs, a project with Clairol and the development of the Love Glove. He concludes the interview by talking about Qoro LLC and his observations about starting a new company in the technology business and how to run it.


1953 B.S., Mineralogy, Columbia University
1957 M.S., Solid State Physics/Petrology, Columbia University

  Professional Experience

General Transistor Corporation

1958 - 1959 Director of Materials Research

Geos Corporation

1959 - 1984 Founder and CEO

Rodel Incorporated

1984 - 2000 Executive Director

Qoro, LLC

2000 - Present Chairman and Founder


1994 Founding Director of Delaware Manufacturing Extension Program
1995 Founding Member of Semiconductor Initiative Committee
1997 Founding Director of Japan America Society of Delaware
1998 Chairman and Director of Delaware Mathematics Coalition
1998 Founding Trustee of the Edison Project Charter School, Wilmington, Delaware

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

Education and Family History 1

Family history. Lyngby, Denmark. Columbia University. Hobbies. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Korean War. Lloyd Motz.

Early Career 9

Director of Materials Research. General Transistor Corporation. T.A. Read. Materials Research Corporation. Memory. Germanium. Forming of Geoscience Nuclear Division, Geoscience Instruments Company. Buehler Scientific. Research and development with materials. Alloy transistor.

Company Contacts and Competition 19

Pellon Corporation. E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Inc. Union Carbide. Silica. Timothy Callahan. Polish pads. Politex Supreme. Rohm and Haas Company. Monsanto Company. Merck and Company, Inc.

Geoscience Instruments Corporation 31

Staff. Incorporation of the company. Canberra Industries. Merging of Geoscience and Rodel.

DuPont and Corfam 34

Politex Supreme. Pre-polishing pads. Planarization. Moore's Law. DuPont as the chemical supplier. Ronald Mollenbray. Hank Jakubauskas.

Other Ventures 59

Polishing glass for the TV. Shoes. Corning Incorporated. Faceplate business. Clairol. The Love Glove. Competition with 3M Corporation.

Qoro LLC 69

The Viper Group. Inkjet technology. University of Delaware. Printing technology. Museums, reproduction for the artists and archival reproductions. Hagley Museum.

Conclusion 77

Index 86

  About the Interviewers

David C. Brock

David C. Brock is a senior research fellow with the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. As a historian of science and technology, he specializes in the history of semiconductor science, technology, and industry; the history of instrumentation; and oral history. Brock has studied the philosophy, sociology, and history of science at Brown University, the University of Edinburgh, and Princeton University.

In the policy arena Brock recently published Patterning the World: The Rise of Chemically Amplified Photoresists, a white-paper case study for the Center’s Studies in Materials Innovation. With Hyungsub Choi he is preparing an analysis of semiconductor technology roadmapping, having presented preliminary results at the 2009 meeting of the Industry Studies Association.

Christophe Lécuyer

Christophe Lécuyer is a graduate of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and he received a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. He was a fellow of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology and has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of Virginia. Before becoming a senior research fellow at CHF, Lécuyer was the program manager of the electronic materials department. He has published widely on the history of electronics, engineering education, and medical and scientific instruments, and is the author of Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930–1970 (2005).

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