"He has placed the entire world in his debt, and brought added dignity and prestige to the profession of which he is such a conspicuous ornament."
—Perkin Medal citation, 1920
Charles Frederick Chandler (1836–1925)
An industrial chemist, Chandler pioneered processes for sugar refining, gas manufacture, petroleum refining, photography, and dyeing and made lasting contributions to public health and sanitation, chemical research, and education. A founding father of chemistry at Columbia, where he taught for over fifty years, he also served as president of the New York Metropolitan Board of Health from 1873 to 1883, improving safety standards for milk and water, and regulating gas companies, slaughterhouses, and rendering operations. He promoted compulsory smallpox vaccination for children and invented the flushing water closet, which he refused to patent, citing the public interest.