Publication: Glass Technology
Jack H. Waggoner, 1895-1961
We deeply regret to record the death, on 16 February 1961, of Jack H. Waggoner, a Fellow of the Society since 1947 and a greatly respected and well-known member of the American glass industry. He will be remembered also by a number of our members to whom I gave letters of introduction and who found Mr. Waggoner very helpful.
Jack H. Waggoner was born at St. Joseph, Missouri, on 13 January 1895, but soon afterwards his family removed to Topeka in Kansas, and there he received his education both in high school and at the University of Kansas. Like many other men who grew up to be useful U.S. citizens, he worked his way through College, in a succession of jobs from that of a blacksmith's striker — he was a stockily built man — a machinist's assistant, and later as an assistant in one or other of the laboratories of the University or the Department of State. Eventually he graduated B.S. in chemical engineering in 1920 and after some post-graduate experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology entered the glass industry in 1922 in the employment of the Libbey Sheet Glass Company as Chemist at the Charleston, West Virginia, works and at the Company's works at Hamilton, Ontario.
When in 1929 I first met him he had obtained, and entered on, a Research Fellowship at the Mellon Institute on behalf of the Hemingray Glass Co. of Muncie, well known as makers of glass insulators by automatic machines. I was greatly impressed with the trouble to which he went, or offered to go, to see to my comfort, to help with my programme and to get information for me; and bearing in mind this cheerful helpfulness. I gave letters of introduction to him in later years to a number of members of the Society.
In the middle 1930s Waggoner was attracted by the expanding fibreglass industry and obtained an appointment with the Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation. From 1937 he served as Technical Assistant to the Executive Vice-President of the Company. He carried out a good deal of industrial research in processes of production and treatment of glass fibres and held a considerable number of patents. In 1953 he moved to the newly created Glass Fiber Division of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company where he became Technical Assistant to the General Manager and had his office at the headquarters of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company at One Gateway Center, Pittsburgh.
In 1946 he came to Europe to join a team of investigators into the German glass industry which visited many German glassmaking centres under the auspices of the Allied Control Commission. He also visited Dr. Maurach in Frankfurt and supplied me and Dr. Morey and others in America with information about the situation in which the Deutsche Glastechnische Gesellschaft found itself under the original decentralizing policy of the Allied Control Commission, and enabled us to make representations to our respective Government Departments to ease certain restrictions so that scientific societies, nationwide in scope, like the Deutsche Glastechnische Gesellschaft, could resume their operations. He also spent time in Berlin looking into the affairs of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute fur Silikatforschung and he had a good deal to do with the negotiations which led to Professor Eitel being transferred to the United States and given an opportunity to prepare a further and much enlarged edition of his The Physical Chemistry of the Silicates. Later when this work had been accomplished Waggoner had a part in helping to establish the Silicate Research Institute at the University of Toledo at which Professor Eitel could utilize his great experience and knowledge in teaching and research for the benefit of the American students.
Waggoner was connected with quite a number of scientific and technological societies in the States, was a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and for a year served as Secretary of the Glass Division. He was elected a Fellow of our own Society in 1947. He never sought positions of leadership but seemed thoroughly happy to be allowed to work for the good of the companies or institutions with which he was connected. His wife told me that she had never met a man who so thoroughly enjoyed his work as did her husband. Knowing by personal experience a little of his home life in Newark, Ohio, I can say that it was a thoroughly happy one and that he and Mrs. Waggoner had the great satisfaction of seeing all three of their children, two sons and a daughter, pass through academic careers with distinction.
W. E. S. TURNER