Sarah Lee Meyer's Genealogy Web Site

Meyer, Dr. Fred

Male 1915 - 1985  (70 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All

  • Name Meyer, Fred 
    Title Dr. 
    Born 04 Jun 1915  Detroit, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    • Ephraim
    • B.A., M.A., PhD.(Chem),PhD.(Math)
    • Mathematician and chemist
    • Reform/Unaffiliated
    Yahrzeit Date
    • 1 Av 5745
    Died 19 Jul 1985  Torrance, California Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Hillside Cemetery, Los Angeles, California Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I93  Sarah Meyer's Worldwide Family | Perlstadt, Carmel and Bigos, all maternal
    Last Modified 27 Aug 2017 

    Father Meyer, Herman Charles,   b. 12 Sep 1894, Albany, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jul 1985, Los Angeles, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Mother Edelberg-Davis, Tillie,   b. 30 Apr 1895, Kolonie Lvova, Ukraine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 01 Jun 1977, Desert Hot Springs, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 12 Sep 1914  Detroit, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F62  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Perlstadt, Nina,   b. 11 Jul 1913, Warsaw, Poland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Dec 1992, Towson, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 09 Feb 1941  Chicago, Cook, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
     1. Meyer, Sarah Lee
     2. Meyer, Ruth Ann
    Last Modified 27 Aug 2017 
    Family ID F54  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Dr. Fred Meyer had a long and distinguished career. He began college at Wayne (Detroit) at the age
      of 16, transferring to the University of Michigan for his senior year, with a major in Chemistry. He then
      went to the University of Wisconsin for graduate school, where he met his future wife, Nina Perlstadt.
      He finished his PhD in Physical Chemistry in late 1940 and had a post-doc scheduled with Nils Bohr.
      However, with the break out of WWII in Europe, the post doc was cancelled. He and Nina married in
      February of 1941 in Chicago. So, he went to work for the bureau of Mines in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
      In 1943 he was called to work on the Manhattan Project and they moved back to Chicago. His part
      of the project finished in September 1944 and then he moved to Kansas City, Missouri to teach at the
      University of Missouri, Kansas City. Since Nina was nine months pregnant, she remained in Chicago
      until after Sarah was old enough to travel, staying with her brother and sister-in-law. Due to the war,
      there were no appropriate places to live in Kansas City, so at the end of the academic year, Fred took
      a job with Ethyl corporation as a chemist. During this period Ruth was born. While he was there
      apparently Ethyl developed a non-sudsing cleaning product. Nina's nephew remembers that they
      received many bottles of this product, which did a good job and by the time that their supply finally ran
      out, Mr. Clean was on the market (which very much resembled the product that Uncle Fred sent.
      After about 8 years with Ethyl Corporation, Fred was tired of office politics and was going to leave Ethyl.
      At that time he decided to go back to Wayne (now Wayne State) and pursue his dream field
      mathematics. While he was there, (about 1952), he was part of a team that worked on the first
      (machine) programming language. He apparently came home and told Nina: "We finally got the
      computer to do, what we wanted it to do... and the rest will be history". He finished his PhD in partial
      differential equations in the summer of 1959. He had a new job waiting for him at Boeing Scientific
      Laboratory in Seattle. When the family arrived in Seattle, after narrowly missing being trapped by the
      Yellowstone earthquake, he discovered that the job for which he was hired no longer existed.
      However they found other projects for which he was very useful. The Seattle climate did not agree
      with Nina, giving her a sinus headache every day. So once again Fred went job hunting and found
      two potential positions in Southern California. He chose based on which one was closer to the climate
      Nina preferred! Before he left however, he had only time to finish one of two projects that he was
      working on. His boss wanted him to finish a particular one, but Fred said that any mathematician could
      finish that one; but the other one required both chemistry and mathematics at the PhD level and they
      would have a harder time finding someone else qualified to do it. So that was the project he
      finished...later we learned that it had to do with the fuels used for the lunar lander. He then moved to
      take the job at Aerospace corporation in San Bernardino, California in September of 1963. Nina and
      Ruth waited for the house to sell and joined him in late November of 1963 (just prior to the
      assassination of President Kennedy). Sarah was attending the University of Washington and moved
      down the following June. While at Aerospace he collaborated with his sister-in law Dr. Bessie Lendrum
      to develop a three dimensional view of the heart from X rays. She provided the medical expertise and
      he worked on the translating slices of two dimensional X rays into a three dimensional picture. He
      retired from Aerospace Corporation (in El Segundo, California - having moved when the company was
      forced to move). The professional employee's "union" convinced him to work for them for a year, and
      he did, finishing a report on Aetna's managed care health insurance, that led to some changes in the
      administration of the health insurance, just prior to his death. He had a bad mitral valve, that had been
      misdiagnosed as a different heart condition. By the time that it was properly diagnosed, the heart
      muscle was so weak that it could not hold the stitches from the new valve. His cardiologist thanked
      Nina for seeing to it that his bill was paid by the insurance and she answered "that was Fred's doing" !
      He was living in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles, California at the time of his death. However, he died
      in Little Company of Mary Hospital, which was in Torrance, Los Angeles, Califoria.

  • Sources 
    1. The ketubah says 23 Elul 5674 (Reliability: 0).

    2. Cook County Marriage License25 Jan 1941 {3C18A3C6-AAC5-4BE7-8D48-41710902EBC7} (Reliability: 0).

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