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Table of Contents


AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects




Archival as AuthorPublished as Subject

John D. Ferry



May 4, 1912 – October 18, 2002

Authorized Form of Name

Ferry, John D., 1912-2002

Additional Forms of Names

Ferry, John Douglass



Dr. Ferry’s research focused primarily on the rheology of polymers and how the modes of molecular motion related to the mechanical and physical properties of the polymers. The understanding of these mechanisms led to the understanding of the clotting of blood and the gelation of gelatin, as well as the production of fibrinogen plastic and fibrin products which are important to surgery.

Important Dates

May 4, 1912Born, Yukon.

1932Obtained BA, Stanford University, Stanford (Calif.).

1932 – 1933Researcher, National Institute for Medical Research.

1935Obtained PhD, Stanford University, Stanford (Calif.).

1936Part-time instructor and tutor of biochemical science, Harvard University.

1938 – 1941Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University.

1946Awarded the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, American Chemical Society.

1946 – 1982Faculty of Department of Chemistry (1946-1947); Professor of Chemistry (1947-1959); Chair, Department of Chemistry (1956-1967); and Farrington Daniels Research Professor (1973), University of Wisconsin, Madison (Wis.).

1955Chairman, Divison of High Polymer Physics, American Physical Society.

1958 – 1962Chairman, Committee on Macromolecular Chemistry, National Research Council.

1959Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1959National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Brussels.

1960Awarded the Kendall Compnay Award in Colloid Chemistry, American Chemical Society.

1961 – 1963President, Society of Rheology.

1965 – 1967University Committee, University of Wisconsin.

1968Honorary President, 5th International Congress on Rheology.

October 18, 2002Death.


Chemist and biochemist.




Undergraduate Education

Stanford (Calif.)

Graduate Education

Stanford (Calif.)


Madison (Wis.)




Polymer chemistry.

Polymer rheology.





Mott, Barbara Norton


Advisors & Collaborators

Granick, Steve

Advised by Ferry at University of Wisconsin.

Oncley, J. L. (John Lawrence)

Research advisor at Harvard Medical School.

Parks, George Sutton, 1894-1966

PhD advisor at Stanford University.

Schrag, John Lindblad, 1937-

Post doctorally advised by Ferry at University of Wisconsin.

Smith, Thor L.

Advised by Ferry, University of Wisconsin.

Spence, David, 1881-1957

Research advisor at Hopkins Marine Station.

Tinoco, Ignacio

Advised by Ferry at University of Wisconsin.


Cohn, Edwin J., 1921-

Willets, William Rudolph


Major Positions

Harvard University

Part-time instructor and tutor of biochemical science.

Harvard University. Society of Fellows

Junior Fellow.

National Science Foundation (U.S.)

Senior Postdoctoral Fellow.

University of Wisconsin--Madison

University Committee member.

University of Wisconsin--Madison. Department of Chemistry

Faculty; Professor of Chemistry; Department Chair; and Farrington Daniels Research Professor.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Chemical Society

Awarded the 1946 Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry and the 1960 Kendall Company Award in Colloid Chemistry.

American Physical Society

Chairman, Division of High Polymer Physics.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)


National Institute for Medical Research (Great Britain)

National Research Council (U.S.)

Chairman, Committee on Macromolecular Chemistry.

Society of Rheology (U.S.)

President; recipient of the 1952 Bingham Medal; and honorary President, 5th International Congress on Rheology.

Stanford University

Received BA (1932) and PhD (1935).


Archival Resources


John D. Ferry general files, 1947-1988.

Madison University Archives

University of Wisconsin -- Madison

Steenbock Library, Madison, WI 53706, USA

Oral history interview with John D. Ferry, 1985 October 25, 29, 30, 31 and November 1.

Madison University Archives

University of Wisconsin -- Madison

Steenbock Library, Madison, WI 53706, USA

Published Resources


Biographical memoir of the National Academy of Sciences - John D. Ferry