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10. January 2008

J. Reid Shelton dies at 96

J. Reid Shelton, 1983 ACS Rubber Division Charles Goodyear Medalist, died Dec. 31 at the age of 96.

Shelton spent 41 years teaching at Case Western University in Cleveland and its predecessors, Case School of Applied Science and Case Institute of Technology. He worked on oxidation and antioxidants in rubber and applied laser-Raman spectroscopy to the study of sulfur vulcanization. His research on synthetic rubber was particularly important during World War II, when access to natural rubber in Southeast Asia was cut off by the Japanese, and the new SR made from styrene and butadiene displayed stability problems. With his students, he undertook fundamental studies of the reactions occurring in the oxidation, degradation, and stabilization of rubber and other polymers with support at various times from Firestone, Goodyear, the U.S. Army Ordinance Research and other government agencies, and the Petroleum Research Fund. Shelton, who retired in 1977, was mentor to another Charles Goodyear Medalist, Jack L. Koenig, who won the award in 2000. In an interview at the time, Koenig said he and Shelton taught a course together. Shelton is survived by three children: Margaret M. Snyder of Poquoson, Va.; James W. Shelton of Willoughby, Ohio; and Patricia A. Nierode of Kingwood, Texas; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A memorial service will take place Jan. 19 at Epworth-Euclid United Methodist Church in Cleveland.

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