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Albert Stewart

Chemist and chemistry professor Albert C. Stewart was born on November 25, 1919. Stewart received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1942. He was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1945 and was among a select group of African American sea men trained as officers. Following his tour of duty, Stewart returned to the United States and enrolled at the University of Chicago. In 1948, he received his M.S. degree in chemistry; and, in 1949, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the U.S. Navy. Stewart earned his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from St. Louis University in 1951.

From 1949 to 1963, Stewart held teaching appointments at St. Louis University, Knoxville College, and John Carroll University where he taught chemistry and physics. In 1951, Stewart began his thirty-three year long career at Union Carbide Corporation as a senior chemist in the nuclear division. In 1960, Stewart became the assistant director of research and held several leadership positions until his departure in 1984. He was appointed as an associate professor and named as the associate dean in the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University. From 1987 until 1989, Stewart served as the acting dean and remained as an associate professor of marketing. In 1999, he became Professor Emeritus at Western Connecticut State University.

In 1966, Stewart received the University of Chicago Alumni Citation Award. Stewart is a member of a number of professional and academic societies, including the Radiation Research Society, the American Marketing Association, and the American Chemical Society where he is an emeritus member. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. He has also served as an advisor, consultant and on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including U.S. Department of Commerce, NASA, and the Urban League, respectively.

Albert C. Stewart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 9, 2013.

Stewart passed away on October 13, 2016.

Accession Number

A2013.059

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/9/2013

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

C.

Schools

Saint Louis University

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Albert

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

STE15

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caneel Bay Plantation, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

11/25/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Haven

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

10/13/2016

Short Description

Chemist and military officer Albert Stewart (1919 - 2016 ) is Professor Emeritus at Western Connecticut State University and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served from 1944-1956.

Employment

St. Louis University

Knoxville College

John Carroll University

Western Connecticut State University

Kanthal Corp.

Executive Register, Inc.

Execom

Foundation for Social Justice in South Africa

Union Carbide Corporation

United States Naval Reserve

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Albert Stewart's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about her mother's growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's growing up in Maryland and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about his parents eloping, their life in Detroit, Michigan and their decision to move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's employment in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's employment at Sherwin-Williams in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Albert Stewart talks about getting a job as a resin researcher at Sherwin-Williams in Chicago, Illinois, and being drafted for World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about his parents' homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about receiving a double promotion in elementary school, and graduating early from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about growing up in the West Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago and White City amusement park

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about the Chicago American Giants baseball team and attending their baseball games on Sundays

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about African Americans moving to Chicago from the South, and his father's job as a carpenter who remodeled homes

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about attending baseball games in Chicago, and recalls Prohibition in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Albert Stewart talks about his childhood jobs as a milk delivery boy and as a newspaper delivery boy for the 'Chicago defender'

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Albert Stewart describes his experience in elementary school and his interest in math and spelling

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience in school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about the racial division in school and in the city of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his interest in chemistry and the schools for the black students in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about graduating from high school, attending Wilson Junior College, and working on the railroad

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes how he decided to attend the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about walking to the University of Chicago every day from his parents' home

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about working to support his education at the University of Chicago, and the help that he received from the Rotary Club

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at the University of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart describes his experience while working at Sherwin-Williams

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his draft to the U.S. Navy during World War II, and attending boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his mother wanting him to play the saxophone and his parents' skepticism of his prospects as a scientist

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes how he got commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1945 - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart describes how he got commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1945 - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart describes his assignment and experience on a U.S. Navy fleet oiler towards the end of World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience aboard a U.S. Navy fleet oiler in China and Japan, and going into inactive duty

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about how he became a research assistant at St. Louis University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about getting married

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his master's degree research on vacuum systems and getting a job as a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes his experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about the racial climate in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the 1950s, and how it affected him and his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the racial politics there, and how he was hired at Union Carbide Company

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about his Ph.D. dissertation research in boron chemistry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at National Carbon Company in the 1950s

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about his getting promoted to the marketing department at National Carbon Company

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his patents

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience in the marketing department at Union Carbide Company

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart talks about his services as a National Sales Manager and director of University Relations for Union Carbide Company in 1980

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about teaching at Western Connecticut State University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about serving as the vice president of the Foundation for Social Justice in South Africa, and his international travels

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$3

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Albert Stewart talks about his experience at National Carbon Company in the 1950s
Albert Stewart talks about the racial division in school and in the city of Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
Okay, all right. So 1956.$$Six, yes.$$You're on your way to Cleveland to--now you're going to Cleveland to work with Union Carbide [Company]?$$National Carbon [Company].$$National Carbon?$$Yeah. And that was--they were connected to Ever Ready Battery Company too.$$Okay. All right, well tell us what happened in Cleveland?$$Hmm?$$Tell us about Cleveland?$$Well I started radiation chemistry there and had, got a radiation source like the one we had down in Oak Ridge and did all sorts of experiments but my main function was to be a group leader. And I hired, got some people from Oak Ridge, I mean from, not Oak Ridge, from St. Louis University and others and did a variety of experiments that were not classified but Union Carbide property. And things were going great there until Carbide decided to split up and split up some things. They sold the Ever Ready Battery Company and gave me a promotion to New York City. Well they promoted me and the laboratory they were going to send me to was in Niagara Falls, but they decided instead to send me to New York City. And when did Kennedy [John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, 35th President of the United States] get assassinated?$$Nineteen sixty-three.$$Nineteen--?$$--sixty-three.$$--sixty three?$$Yes sir.$$I was in New York trying to decide what sort of research we were going to do and I had just been to the library and was walking down the street in Manhattan and I heard this report. I had an interesting time because, in New York City because they wanted me to, when I was looking for an apartment, the real estate people wanted me to move to Harlem. And--because we're now in a desegregation period, I said uh-uh, served my time there. We're desegregating communities, want to move to Manhattan. So they wanted to send me to a plant that, oh the aluminum--Alcoa was building in, near Harlem and I wouldn't go there. And finally ended up in a place where I could walk to work. So I started walking to work--$$So where was that in New York? Where was, this is--?$$On the west side.$$Okay.$$West 65th Street.$$Okay.$$But that was an adventure in itself because then we ended up deciding that we wanted to buy something and well, I worked in Chicago. I mean, Chicago--worked in Manhattan and they had changes. And I got promoted again to--out of science into a marketing department.$So did you run for a class office or anything like that or--?$$No, I didn't. In fact, we hardly, the black kids hardly talked to the white kids. At the, at Englewood [High School, Chicago, Illinois], remember there was little money around. There was a White Castle on 63rd Street and you got a hamburger--I remember they used to have a hamburger sales thing and you could get five hamburgers for some cheap price, I forget what it was. But I'd do that. But mainly instead of going to the school cafeteria on one side of the school nearest the South--the Wentworth and South Park side, there was a guy who rented a build--apartment that had food for the black students. And there was a guy who made fried pies. He sold fried pies and such stuff to the black kids. Well the black kids didn't go to the--there was another white guy who had also a store and so the kid, white kids who didn't have any money went to that instead of the cafeteria. And only rich kids went to the cafeteria. Pardon me. [Coughing] But there was no real association with the white students in Englewood. The black girls had started school in West, pardon me, in West Woodlawn. The professional people, the doctors, lawyers and so forth their daughters had school--had clubs. And they gave dances and the like at Bacon's Casino. And while the white kids were going to the Stevens Hotel and the blacks were not welcome. Blacks were not welcome in these big hotels and never on the North Side. When what's her name, the celebrated black woman who lived on the North Side, the television person.$$Oh god, you got me.$$You know of recent who bought--$$Oprah?$$Huh?$$Oprah Winfrey?$$Yeah, she was--I was so surprised when it turned out she was living on the north side because I always thought of that as a big division in Chicago. In fact, from, till 12th Street on the South Side, below 12th Street on the, in Chicago that was all white, nothing but.$$Okay.$$When you were growing up could you go past 63rd Street south? Did you go south of 63rd?$$Down 63rd Street?$$Yeah, did--no, did any black people live south of 63rd?$$Down--$$No.$$Below? No, 63rd Street was the dividing line. From 63rd to Washington Park was white between South Park and Cottage Grove. And that didn't turn over for quite a--never while I was growing up. And the big fight with West Woodlawn was the kids that lived at 58th and Calumet and over in there.$$Okay.