Ernest Albert Vuilleumier

Photo from Dickinson College Photo Collection

    Ernest Albert Vuilleumier was born on March 1, 1894 in New City, New York. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1914 and obtained his Ph. D., from the University of Berne, Switzerland. He enlisted with the 162nd United States Infantry, in Bordeaux, France in 1918. He began his teaching career at the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1916. Vuilleumier worked as an industrial chemist between the years of 1914-1915 and 1919-1920 before coming to Dickinson College.
    Vuilleumier came to Dickinson College in 1920 as an Associate Professor of Chemistry. Four years later he became full Professor of Chemistry and Chairman of the Chemistry Department. He was appointed Dean of the Junior Class in 1927, Dean of the Freshman Class in 1928 and Acting Dean and finally Dean of the College from 1933-1947. Vuilleumier was the first occupant of the C. Scott Althouse Chair of Chemistry.
    In addition to teaching Vuilleumier was the secretary of the faculty in 1957 and former chairman of the Committee on Public Events and Marshal of the College. He also served as the Chairman of Dickinson's Annual Priestley Celebration. Outside of Dickinson College, Vuilleumier was the President of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science in 1941. He was also the Chairman of the American Chemical Society.
    Vuilleumier's greatest contribution to Dickinson College and society was his analysis of alcoholic liquids and electrodeposition. He authored many pamphlets and articles relating to chemistry and his interest in alcoholic liquids. As of 1933, Vuilleumier had translated and or published twenty-four articles pertaining to his research. He was a frequent contributor to the Journal of Pennsylvania Academy of Science. In 1923, Vuilleumier invented the Dickinson Alcometer, a device used by the federal and state governments to ascertain quickly and accurately the percentage of alcoholic content in contraband liquor. A year later, he invented the Dickinson Solids Hydrometer, a direct reading apparatus for determining the specific gravity of solids.
    Vuilleumier was very popular with the students. In 1924, Vuilleumier married Frances E. Smith, Valedictorian of Dickinson College class of 1924.  Ernest Albert Vuilleumier died on October 6, 1958 while still teaching at Dickinson College.


    Dickinson College, Microcosm, 1934, p. 33, Dickinson College Archives.
    "Vuilleumier, Ernest Albert" Dropfiles, Dickinson College Archives.
    Vuilleumier, Ernest Albert, Caricature by Rob Broderick '52, Dickinson College Special Collections.

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    -Cynthia L. Mackey '03
Class of 1934     Chronicles

Dickinson College

Dickinson 1934 is a project of Prof. Osborne's History 204 Class, Fall Semester 2000.