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​Lloyd Augustus Hall

Lloyd Augustus Hall   1894 - 1971

Lloyd A. Hall, a pioneering industrial food chemist revolutionized the meatpacking industry with his development of curing salts for the processing and preserving of meats.  His patented chemical processes also benefited other food products.

Hall was born in Elgin, Illinois on June 20, 1894.  He was an honor student at the East Side High School in Aurora, Illinois, where he developed his interest in chemistry.  He graduated among the top ten of his class of 125, and received four scholarships to attend outstanding universities.  He selected Northwestern University, where he earned a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry.  Afterwards, he pursed graduate degrees at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois.

In 1916, his chemistry background enabled him to get a position as a chemist in the Chicago Department of Health laboratory.  He was promoted to senior chemist within one year, and subsequently worked as a chief chemist at the John Morrell Company in Ottumwa, Iowa.  Two years later, Hall's interests shifted to food chemistry.  He was now chief chemist at the Boyer Griffith Laboratories.  By 1922, he became president and chemical director of consulting at Griffith Laboratories.  He relinquished his position as president to become chief chemist and director of research.  He maintained this position for 37 years, until his retirement in 1959.  

Before Hall's discovery salts used for preserving and curing meat products were unsatisfactory.  He prepared a new salt mixture of sodium nitrate and sodium nitrate.  By "fast-drying" (evaporating) the solution, he formed preserving crystals far superior to any meat curing salts ever produced.  Hall was also successful in new sterilization techniques for foods and spices.  He used ethylene their appearance, quality and flavor.  Hall's method of sterilization with ethylene oxide became big business in the United States for hospital supplies such as bandages, dressing, dentrifices, cosmetics, and other products.During World War I, Hall was appointed chief inspector of powder and explosives in the U.S. Army.  In World War II, he was invaluable in solving problems of maintaining military food supplies in pure and edible form.  In 1951, he and an associate patented a process that significantly reduced the time for curing bacon.

Dr. Hall published over 50 scientific papers, and received 105 United States and foreign patents.  He is listed in American Men of Science, Who's Who in Chemistry, Who's Who in Colored America, and Who's Who in America.  Dr. Hall died in 1971, leaving a legacy of innovations in the food preservation industry.

Excerpt from A Salute to Black Scientists and Inventors.

This is only a summary of the life of Lloyd Hall.