HENRY CORBIN FULLER
Photo of Henry C. Fuller

Henry was born on November 13, 1879, in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he obtained his basic education in chemistry at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After graduating in 1901, he worked in commercial facilities analyzing drugs and chemicals used in the production of medicine. He later entered the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a chemist under the supervision of Dr. Harvey C. Wiley, to whom he referred as his mentor. His work was mostly in regard to problems incident to the Food and Drug Act of 1906. He contributed most of the analytical work for the pure-food research conducted by Dr. Wiley that was published in 1914 by Good Housekeeping.

During World War I, he was with the Institute of Industrial Research supervising drug propagation on a commercial scale and managing a drug farm in Virginia where digitalis and other important medicinal plants were grown. He published three books on chemistry and a number of shorter papers on the subject. His most notable work, The Chemistry and Analysis of Drugs and Medicines, containing 1072 pages appeared in 1920.

Henry had a strong interest in wildlife, but was especially attracted to ornithology and lost no opportunity to watch and study birds in their natural haunts. He made a trip through the West to the Pacific states and British Columbia with A. K. Fisher, where every opportunity was made to broaden his view of the wilder country and its animal and plant life. Nothing gave him a greater thrill than to come across a new bird to add to his life list. He also was a philatelist of note and had a collection of over 27,000 stamps, representing about one fourth of all varieties ever issued.

Henry was a well-known chemist and nature lover who had many acquaintances. He belonged to many organizations, including the American Ornithologists’ Union, Baird Ornithological Club, Washington Academy of Sciences, Cosmos Club, and a number of chemistry societies. He was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1910 and served as president from 1916 to 1919.

Henry died suddenly on August 26, 1942, in New Haven, Connecticut, as he was returning to his home in Washington. He and his wife had two daughters and a son. Their son, Henry Shepard Fuller, was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1949.