Arnold O. Beckman

Arnold O. Beckman invented scientific instruments that revolutionized the study and understanding of human biology.

Dr. Beckman, born in 1900, developed a love for science at a young age, sparked by reading an old chemistry textbook. He pursued his interest in science at the University of Illinois, earning a B.S. in chemical engineering in 1922, and then an M.S. in physical chemistry one year later. He obtained his Ph.D. in photochemistry at the California Institute of Technology in 1928, where he also served as a professor.

Dr. Beckman founded what eventually became Beckman Instruments, Inc. in 1935 with the invention of the pH meter. Produced for a former classmate at a Southern California citrus processing plant, Beckman designed the pH meter to measure acidity levels in lemon juice. This device quickly became an indispensable tool in analytical chemistry and earned Dr. Beckman an inclusion in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1987. Dr. Beckman continued to invent, creating the DU Spectrophotometer in 1940, which altered scientific investigations dramatically by simplifying tedious laboratory procedures, increasing analytical precision, and revolutionizing chemical analysis.

Beckman Instruments created many groundbreaking devices under Dr. Beckman's leadership, and contributed to saving countless lives.

Information as of 1992