Walter Rittman, US chemical engineer

Walter Rittman, US chemical engineer

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Walter Frank Rittman (1883-1954), US chemical engineer. Rittman obtained his doctorate from Columbia University in 1914. He worked in research for the oil industry, and was employed by the United States Bureau of Mines. In 1916, he discovered a revolutionary process for cracking petroleum. This increased the amount of gasoline distilled from crude oil. He presented his findings to a special committee of leaders and members of CongresĀ­s and the Cabinet. This photograph, taken between around 1915 and 1920, is from the Bain News Service, one of the USA's earliest news picture libraries.

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