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
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
"Vuilleumier, Ernest Albert" Dropfiles, Dickinson
Vuilleumier, Ernest Albert, Caricature by Rob Broderick
'52, Dickinson College Special Collections.