Respondent
Frumerman, Robert
Interview Date
1997
Abstract
Respondent Chemical engineer; born 8/14/24.
[T1S1] Respondent provides background information, gives names of grandparents and parents. Respondent born in Rochester, PA; describes father's work in various businesses, gives names of other family members. Respondent comments on early school days and Jr. High School.
[T1S2] Respondent reflects on Junior High School; involvement with debate team; sports writer for high school newspaper; notes Bar Mitzvah and traveling to Beaver Falls to prepare for it. Respondent discusses grandmother: extremely religious, kosher home, describes her customs and practices; because of difficulty maintaining Jewishness to dictates of grandmother, Respondent found it distasteful. Respondent discusses early years; notes high school graduation: 1942; recounts attending University of Pittsburgh, two years, then drafted into Army; in high school, excelled in mathematics and science, loved chemistry and physics, chose engineering, describes long hours spent traveling to University of Pittsburgh from Rochester, PA.
[T2S3] Respondent describes Army experiences; transferred from Camp Wheeler, GA, to University of Maine, put into electrical engineering division; discharged: 1946; moved to Pittsburgh. to complete college; notes no Jewish social experience.
[T2S4] Respondent describes chemical engineering lab course given by Professor Joe Bigos; notes after graduation, interviewed for several positions; accepted offer from Ethyl Corp.; Detroit, MI, then had offer from Elliot Co, Jeannette, PA., decided to go with Elliot, Co.; first encounter with anti-Semitism; describes work at Elliot Co.: developed 6 stage ejectors for high vacuum metallurgical processes, also development work and theoretical calculations, remained there several years, them moved on. Respondent describes meeting Lois Marks, married 1950; found position at Blaw Knox Chemical Plants Division; notes wife became ill, died September 1952. Respondent reflects on mother's death from stroke one month after wife died. Respondent describes work at Blaw Knox: designing various types of plants; describes research on project; designed Savannah River project; designed heavy water recovery system and spent nuclear fuel recovery systems; mentions starting night school at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University)
[T3S5] Respondent provides description of home, part of Mellon Estate, describes collection of art prints, notes friendship with Angela Conner, British artist. Respondent repeats discussion of career; discusses meeting Marcia Ellovich, December, 1954; worked in Pittsburgh, describes her work, reflects on engagement and marriage in Sharon, PA, 5/22/55; provides information on wife's parents and sister; comments on wedding and honeymoon.
[T3S6] Respondent gives names of 2 children; discusses their spouses, education and careers; names 2 grandchildren; family involvement with Rodef Shalom Temple; describes summers with children.
[T4S7] Respondent repeats places of employment: Elliot Co., Blaw Knox, Koppers Co., Inc., discusses major job contract for U.S. Steel, Clairton works: largest coke plant in the world, Respondent describes work; also concerned with efficiency and safety, designed escape from plant, describes various chemical processes and problems encountered, also injury incurred while working there; mentions Koppers all pervasive in steel industry. Respondent details work for Nuclear Materials and Equipment Co. (NUMEC) and Zalman Shapiro: describes responsibilities: had comprehensive control of design, construction and supplies.
[T4S8] Respondent continues discussion of work for NUMEC, comments on demise of company; relationship with Zalman Shapiro, decision to become consultant.
[T5S9] Respondent reflects on becoming consultant, 1962, difficulty getting started; no consultant jobs; found Dravo had need for "pickeling" plant (dipping steel in acid to remove scale), describes work involved; Dravo underwrote Respondent as a base client; lists other consulting jobs: Westinghouse Corp., Pittsburgh Plate Glass, notes in consulting, no line authority, must work with someone who has line authority.
[T5S10] Respondent continues discussion from previous tape; describes work done in Morgantown, WV for department of energy: coal gasification; comments on Jewish rituals observed at home; among the founders of the Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL) at Carnegie Mellon University, a volunteer program providing high quality education for senior citizens.
Subjects
Blaw-Knox Corp.; Carnegie-Mellon University. Academy For Lifelong Learning; Chemical plants; Elliot Co.; Engineering; Nuclear energy; Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp.; Rochester (Pa. : Township); Savannah River Project; Shapiro, Zalman M. (Zalmon Mordecai), 1920-; Ejector pumps
Length (hours)
5
Interviewer1
Braun, Howard
Interviewer2
Weiss
Indexer
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 101 FF 52
Identifier
ais196440.155
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh