Black Inventors and Innovators - Lloyd Hall
Lloyd Hall was born June 20, 1894 in Elgin, Illinois and died January 2, 1971 in Pasadena, California. Hall was a chemist who had over 60 patents most of which were in food preservation.
Both of Hall’s parents were high school graduates and Hall was a high school honor student as well as a three sport athlete. Hall earned a Bachelor Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from NorthwesternUniversity and a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago.
Hall would work for several companies as a chief chemist with a focus on food chemistry. The first company that Hall was hired by out of college was Western Electric Company. Hall was hired through a phone interview and when he showed up they let him know that he was not wanted there because he was Black. This did not deter him from seeking and getting work with other companies. It was when Hall began working for the Boyer Chemical Laboratory that he began to look at ways of preserving meats with chemicals and also took an interest in how foods, utensils and tools were sterilized. But it was when Hall accepted a position with Griffith Laboratories that all of his studying of different areas of food chemistry came together with his ideas of preserving foods.
Foods were already being preserved using certain methods and Hall looked at ways to improve these methods with different chemical combinations as well as different spices. Hall figured out that some of the spices that were thought to benefit the preservation of foods also exposed foods to germs and bacteria. Hall looked at how foods especially meats were cured and how meats were stored so that he could improve upon.
Hall made huge contributions to food preservation and sterilization. Hall helped to revolutionize the way foods were processed, prepared, packaged and transported. These contributions helped to eliminate both food spoilage and eliminate health risks.
Hall faced adversity and kept moving forward. A true innovator Hall looked at different processes and found ways of improving upon and making changes where necessary to ensure that the food products that were received by the general public were safe and healthy.