Lloyd Augustus Hall
Birthplace: Elgin, Ill.
Lloyd Augustus Hall's work in chemistry revolutionized the meatpacking industry. Before accepting a position as chief chemist and director of research at Griffith Laboratories in Chicago in 1925, the Elgin, Illinois native and Northwestern University graduate held several chemist positions. It was at Griffith, however, that Hall gained his reputation—his research led to improved curing salts, which led to improved meat preservation. He also discovered a method for sterilizing spices, which had applications in other fields. Hall's methods are today used to sterilize medicine, medical supplies, and cosmetics. In addition, Hall patented a method that dramatically cut the amount of time necessary to cure meats. Instead of a six-day to fifteen-day period, meats could be cured in hours. His research resulted in more than 100 patents in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. Recognized for his work, Hall was the first African American elected to the National Board of Directors of the American Institute of Chemists. After his retirement in 1959, he spent six months in Indonesia as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In addition, President John F. Kennedy appointed Hall to the American Food for Peace Council, on which he served from 1962 to 1964.Died: 1/2/1971