- January 22, 1980
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Biographical / Historical
Robert Multhauf (June 8, 1919 - May 8, 2004) was a science historian born in Sioux City, South Dakota. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Iowa State College in 1941 and then worked as a chemical engineer during the early part of the War. In 1943, he joined the Navy and was sent to Japan in 1945. While in Japan, he was hired to work for the Occupation, assigned to the Scientific and Technical Branch of the Economic and Scientific Section of SCAP, which inspected Japanese research labs. Multhauf was specifically assigned to inspect the labs of the Mitsubishi Company. He remained in Japan for about three years, working for the Economic and Scientific Section for about 15 months and about one year in the Reparations Division. He left Japan in May 1948 and in 1950, he received his master's degree in Japanese history from Berkeley and later his Ph.D. from John's Hopkins University in 1953. He went on to work for the Smithsonian Institution, becoming Head Curator of the Department of Engineering and Industries for the U.S. National Museum. He also served as Director of the Museum of History and Technology (later renamed the National Museum of American History) from 1966 to 1969 and was the editor of Isis, the journal of the History of Science Society, for about 15 years. He worked for the Smithsonian Institution until his retirement in 1987. In 2004, Robert Multhauf passed away at the age of 84.