Title and Description Page
Early Years 1
Born in Wharton, Texas. Father, grandfather, great-grandfather lawyers. Mother high school librarian. Mother, grandmother, sister all college graduates. Parents’ expectations. Texas Gulf coast. Frasch sulfur mine. High school chemistry teacher.
College and Graduate School Years 11
Entered Tarleton State College in central Texas. Transferred to University of Texas in Austin, Texas. Origin of love of chemistry unknown. Physical chemistry his favorite subject. Worked in Robbin Anderson’s lab, studying reactions of acetylene. Continued at University of Texas for master’s degree, still in Anderson’s lab. University of Wisconsin for a year. John Margrave’s lab, working on high-temperature inorganic chemistry. Back to Anderson’s lab to finish PhD.
First Job 13
Humble Oil in Baytown, Texas. Worked on solution thermodynamics, extracting paraffins from aromatics. Important publication. Funding from U.S. Army. Humble connected to Esso; hence advantages of both small and large companies. Joe Franklin and ion chemistry (IC). Frederick Lampe left, Munson took his place. Seminar series organized by Franklin; included Eugene Rochow and Ilya Prigogine. Esso’s main labs in Linden, New Jersey. First layoffs at Humble about the time Munson left. Size of mass spectrometry (MS) field limited because instruments expensive and large. Frank Field’s high-pressure MS. Victor Talrose, D.P. Stevenson, D.O. Schissler, Catherine Fenselau. Thomas Aczel and first MS9 in country. Publications in several journals. Rare gas atoms. Hornbeck-Molnar process. Reactions of hydrocarbons important to process. Field took instrument to New Jersey, then Rockefeller University. Wilburn Geiger. CH5+ and C2H5+. Michael Gross and ion cyclotron resonance. Possible uses for methane. Ratios of product ions the beginning of chemical ionization. Publication in Journal of the American Chemical Society because of Field’s reputation. Henry Fales and biological molecules. Fast atom bombardment (FAB). Important technique, but took some time to catch on. Field’s sabbatical and year at University of Leeds with Michael Henchman. Esso’s ion chemistry fundamentalists moved to New Jersey; Aczel and Lumpkin stayed in Baytown. Munson did radiation chemistry for a change. Franklin went to Rice University; Lampe to Pennsylvania State University.
University of Delaware Years 28
Recruited by William Mosher. Old time-of-flight (TOF) and new 110 instruments. Munson had always wanted to teach, especially undergraduates. Has taught freshman chemistry every year. Several different chemistry sequences. Established honors sequence. Using TOF for class research, the modified 110 for high pressure. Got another instrument from Du Pont. Size of school, region of origin of students. Intercollegiate Student Chemistry Convention. Exotic chemistry and thermochemistry. “Polish” ammonia. Chemical ionization continues; negative chemical ionization. Donald Hunt. Ion cyclotron resonance with Douglas Ridge. Munson’s patent went to Scientific Research Incorporated, William Johnston’s company. Teaching more difficult now because of safety regulations, legal concerns, paperwork. Universities support overhead, not research. Grants more difficult to get. National Institutes of Health support development, not research. Pharmaceutical companies not hiring so many now.
General Thoughts and Reminiscences 48
Attending his first meeting of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Fred Lossing. ASTM expands, becomes American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS). Munson one of first presidents. Prefers posters to talks. Society, meetings have changed over the years. Jean Futrell; Austin Wahrhaftig; Donald Wetlaufer. John Fenn’s Nobel Prize for electrospray. Marvin Vestal’s thermospray close to electrospray. TOF, now improved by reflection and electronics, useful again. Biological applications growing, fundamentalists decreasing. John Beynon’s book best about MS. Franklin a good friend, mentor; great influence on MS; first president of ASMS; a good cook. Franklin continued ion chemistry at Rice University (originally Rice Institute); with wife, Mildred, sociable and friendly. Lumpkin and Aczel continued analytical procedures. Henry Rosenstock did calculations of rate constants of reactions. Munson did not know O.P. Tanner. Frank Field was Munson’s mentor. Futrell at Baytown for a while, did radiation chemistry. Munson consulted with Vestal on high pressure for MS9; Vestal’s personality. Debating retirement locations: Delaware vs. Texas. Munson’s health.