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Alumni Feature 1

James Lawrence "Larry" Amos, Class of 1928

Inventor

James Lawrence Amos

Born and raised in New Matamoras, Ohio, James Lawrence "Larry" Amos worked in road construction to earn money toward his educational expenses at Marietta College. Amos graduated from Marietta in 1928 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. He went on to the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio, where he earned his Master of Science degree in chemical engineering in 1930. In his honor, a James Lawrence Amos ‘30 Scholarship Fund is endowed for a student attending Case.

In 1930 Amos joined Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan, in their physical research laboratory. Throughout his career with Dow, he was involved with research, development, and production of petrochemicals and of plastics made from those petrochemicals. The more familiar products Amos invented are synthetic rubber, Styrofoam, and plastic film, but he was credited with being inventor or co-inventor on 64 patents, 236 disclosures, and 106 applications in connection with foreign patents. He retired from Dow in 1971.

During World War II, Amos was recognized for distinguished service to the Naval Ordnance Department. He received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Marietta in 1966. He also received the International Award in Plastics Science and Engineering in 1973 and the Distinguished Inventor Award by the Saginaw Valley Patent Law Association in 1983.

Amos helped plan and build the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Midland, where he was an active member.

Amos died in 1984 in Midland, Michigan, at the age of 78. The J. Lawrence Amos Endowed Scholarship at Marietta College was established in 1984 as directed in his will.