This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
|Size||0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 300 items)|
|Abstract||A.S. Wheeler was an internationally recognized expert on dyes and Kenan professor of organic chemistry at the University of North Carolina. The collection contains professional correspondence, 1916-1932, and school notebooks, 1896-1899, of A.S. Wheeler. Letters are chiefly related to the synthesis and testing of organic chemicals, especially those used in dyes. There are also a few letters from or about Wheeler's students at the University of North Carolina. The school notebooks are from Wheeler's days at Harvard and relate to organic chemistry classes he took there.|
|Creator||Wheeler, A. S. (Alvin Sawyer), 1866-1940.|
|Curatorial Unit||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
Alvin Sawyer Wheeler was born in 1866 in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. He was an 1890 graduate of Beloit College. After three years in the lumber business in Tacoma, Washington, and two years teaching in a Tacoma high school, Wheeler enrolled at Harvard, earning an M.A. in 1897 and a doctorate in organic chemistry in 1900. In that same year, he joined the chemistry faculty at the University of North Carolina, where he remained for the next forty years, rising to full professor in 1912 and, in the 1930s, becoming Kenan professor of organic chemistry.
While serving as mentor for young organic chemists, Wheeler was also an important member of the chemical community. He and his lab held numerous contracts with industry to conduct analyses on various substances used in manufacturing processes. Over the years, Wheeler came to be recognized as an international authority on dyes, publishing widely in chemical journals in this country and in Europe. One of the dyes he developed, known as "Wheeler brown," was used as a shade for women's hosiery in the 1940s.
Wheeler was a member of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society and the North Carolina section of the American Chemical Society, serving both organizations as president. He also had interests apart from organic chemistry. Wheeler organized the Faculty Club at UNC, was a charter member of the Carolina Playmakers, and was active in the Presbyterian Church. He was married to Edith James and had two sons. Wheeler died in 1940.Back to Top
The collection contains professional correspondence, 1916-1932, and school notebooks, 1896-1899, of A.S. Wheeler. Letters are chiefly related to the synthesis and testing of organic chemicals, especially those used in dyes. There are also a few letters from or about Wheeler's students at the University of North Carolina. The school notebooks are from Wheeler's days at Harvard and relate to organic chemistry classes he took there.Back to Top
Correspondence between Wheeler and members of the chemical community. Correspondents include representatives of major chemical companies, suppliers of chemicals, and colleagues at other institutions. These letters chiefly relate to the production and/or analyses of various chemicals, particularly those used in dyes. Also included are letters from Wheeler's former students, either inquiring about positions at the University of North Carolina or requesting letters of recommendation. A small number of letters relate to research grants available through the Chemistry Department. There is no personal correspondence.
Two school notebooks relating to Wheeler's study of organic chemistry at Harvard.
Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, December 1989
Updated by: Laura Hart, March 2021
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008Back to Top