In this biography of Charles Holmes Herty (1867-1938), Germaine M. Reed portrays the life and work of an internationally known scientist who contributed greatly to the industry of his native region and who played a significant role in the development of American chemistry. As president of the American Chemical Society, editor of its industrial journal, adviser to the Chemical Foundation, and as a private consultant, Herty promoted southern industrial development through chemistry. On a national level, he promoted military preparedness with the Wilson administration, lobbied Congress for protection of war-born chemical industries, and sought cooperation and research by business, government, and universities.
In 1932, he established a pulp and paper laboratory in Savannah, Georgia, to prove that cheap, fast-growing southern pine could replace Canadian spruce in the manufacture of newsprint and white paper. As a direct result of Herty's research and his missionary-like zeal, construction of the south's first newsprint plant was begun near Lufkin, Texas, in 1938.