Thursday, March 28, 2013

Centennial: Science Research @ Mellon Institute

James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The Mellon Institute, in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, celebrates it's 100th anniversary this year.

By Kim Leonard

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Updated 21 hours ago

Major companies such as Dow Corning and Union Carbide can trace their histories to discoveries at the Mellon Institute for Industrial Research in the Oakland Civic Center of Pittsburgh.

Brothers Andrew W. and Richard B. Mellon created the center in March 1913, at a time when most companies didn't have their own research labs. The investors envisioned a center where businesses could pay scientists to work on new ideas. 

Products ranging from antifreeze and synthetic rubber to casings that allow hot dogs to be mass produced were developed early in the institute's history, and the bouncy toy Silly Putty was an accidental discovery.

Later, corporations built their own centers such as Bell Laboratories in New Jersey and Dupont Central Research in Delaware, which had their heydays in the 1960s and 1970s, he said. Mellon Institute merged with Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1967 to form Carnegie Mellon University.

The Institute's eight-story, neo-classical building, built at a cost of $10 million, opened in May of 1937, two and one-half years before the 1939 October 24 dedication of the three-floor, art-deco building of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, built at a cost of $1.07 million.


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Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-/Review.

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