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H. Tracy Hall research papers, 1938-2000

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3204 Series 4

Scope and Contents

Contains research notes, reports, photographs, news articles, test reports, blueprints, drawings, negatives, and instruction manuals pertaining to Hall's chemistry research, especially dealing with the creation of man-made diamonds.


  • 1938-2000


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the H. Tracy Hall papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

H. Tracy Hall (1919-2008) was a professor of chemistry and director of research at Brigham Young University.

Howard Tracy Hall was born to Howard and Florence Tracy Hall in Ogden, Utah, October 20, 1919. Hall grew up in Ogden, earned his associate's degree from Weber College (1939), then received his bachelor's (1942), master's (1943), and doctoral degrees (1948) at the University of Utah. During this time, he also served in the United States Navy (1944-1946), received training in electronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and courted and married Ida-Rose Langford (September 1941). Upon graduation with his doctorate, Hall took a post in the General Electric Research Laboratory (GE) in New York, where, in December 1954, he became the first man to achieve a reproducible method of synthesizing diamonds from raw carbon particles by means of his own patented invention, a high-pressure, high-temperature apparatus known as the 'Belt.' This multianvil press was the first known machine capable of producing temperatures of up to 3,000° C and pressures of up to 100,000 atmospheres simultaneously. Hall continued to work at GE until 1955, when he received an offer from Brigham Young University (BYU). Hall accepted the post as professor of chemistry and director of research, which he kept until his retirement in 1980, having also received commissions for many years as a private consultant. Ida-Rose Langford died in 2005. Hall died July 25, 2008, in Provo, Utah. He is succeeded by his seven children: Sherlene, Howard Tracy, Jr., David Richard, Elizabeth, Virginia, Charlotte, and Nancy.

During his prestigious career, Hall wrote at least ninety-five articles, all of them published in various scientific magazines or presented at various conferences and symposia. He has been assigned at least twenty patents, in the United States as well as abroad (England, France, Italy, Japan, West Germany, etc.), for his high-pressure equipment and methods, as well as receiving numerous research grants. In addition, Hall has also received over fifty awards, honors, and distinctions for his dedication and achievements in the field of high-pressure research and personal contributions to society: the National Association of Manufacturer's Modern Pioneers in Creative Industry Award, 1965; the James E. Talmage Scientific Achievement Award, 1965; BYU's Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, 1967; the American Institute of Chemists 'Chemical Pioneer' Award, 1970; BYU's Outstanding Manhood Award, 1971; an honorary Doctor of Science degree from BYU, 1971; the American Chemical Society Gold Medal and Award for Creative Invention, 1972; Intermountain Society of Inventors and Designers Certificate for Distinguished Service and Leadership in the Field of Invention and Designing, 1972; American Society for Metals Engineering Materials Achievement Award, 1973; Weber State Distinguished Alumni Award, 1975; American Physical Society International Prize for New Materials, 1977; Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters Willard Gardner Prize, 1977; BYU's Karl G. Maeser Research Award, 1978; Abrasive Engineering Society Man of the Year Award, 1980; and the Charles Stark Draper Prize, 1997.


1 folder

7 cartons

Language of Materials