Mary Fieser

From... "Women in Chemistry" by Marelene and Geoffrey Rayner-Canham

Mary Fieser is a graduate of Bryn Mawr. "Her chemistry instructor through her time at Bryn Mawr was Louis Fieser, and like other students, she found his chemistry lectures to be inspiring, particularly his emphasis on experimental rather than theoretical aspects. When Louis Feiser moved to Harvard in 1930, Mary Fieser enrolled as a graduate student there. She spent half of her time doing research with Louis Feiser and the other half taking courses. Harvard was not very welcoming to women at that time; in particular, her professor for analytical cheistry, Gregory Baxter, would not allow her to attend the regular laboratories. Instead, she was told to conduct her experiments, unsupervised, in the deserted basement of an adjoining building with only Baxter's woman research student, Evelyn Emma Behrens, for company. In 1932, she completed the requirements for an A.M. in chemistry."

"Fieser decided on an A.M. degree rather than a Ph.D. as the result of a proposal of marriage from Louis Fieser.......She commented, ' I could see I was not going to get along well on my own, but after marriage I could do as much chemistry as I wanted.'"

"During the 1930's and 1940's, Mary Fieser was Louis Fieser's 'prime co-worker', studying the chemistry of quinones and of natural products, particularly steroids."

In the forties she and Louis started coauthoring textbooks. Mary would do all the background work and then Louis would write the book. She was cranking out research so fast that he couldn't keep up so he told her to start writing the chapters.

They coauthored...

Organic Chemistry, Introduction to Organic Chemistry, Basic Organic Chemistry, Style Guide for Organic Chemistry, Topics in Organic Chemistry and Reagents for Organic Chemistry . This last work, which is an ongoing series, is very familiar to all practicing organic chemists - it is an invaluable reference with very concise, useful information about just about every reagent known to man. It is considered to be a classic. We have it in the reference section of Collier - check it out.

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