Howard Cary

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Howard Cary (3 May 1908 - 20 December 1991) was an American engineer and the co-founder of Applied Physics Corporation (later known as Cary Instruments), along with George W. Downs and William C. Miller. Before Applied Physics, Cary was employed by Beckman Instruments, where he worked on the design of several instruments including the ubiquitous DU spectrophotometer.[1][2] Howard Cary was the first president of the Optical Society of Southern California.

Life and Times[edit]

In 1908, Cary was born in Los Angeles, California and his mother’s name was listed as Brown.[3] The 1940 US Census listed Cary as married to Barbara Cary from Washington state. His occupation was recorded as research engineer and industry as laboratory.[4] In 1991, Cary died of pneumonia after a long illness at Orange, California.[5][6]


In 1925, after graduating from Los Angeles High School, Cary entered the California Institute of Technology and in 1930 graduated with a B.S. degree in civil engineering. The yearbook listed his attributes as mathematical and independent. In sports, he was captain of the varsity tennis squad and during his first year he won the junior travel prize. Cary was a member of Sigma Xi.[7]

Professional service[edit]

Awards and Honors[edit]


  • Double folded-z-configuration monochromator.[11] This monochromator is the heart of the Cary Model 14 UV-VIS Spectrophotometer. The monochromator patent drawings also show the dual beam configuration with the optical chopper, etc. as an example.


  • Cary, Henry H., & Beckman, Arnold O. (1941). A quartz photoelectric spectrophotometer. JOSA. 31(11): 682-689.
  • Cary, H. H. (1941). Operating Instructions for Beckman Spectrophotometer. Pamphlets, National Technical Laboratories, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Cary, H. H. (1946). New Instruments. Review of Scientific Instruments. 17: 558.
  • Cary, H. H. (1949). The Effect of Optical Design and the Limit of Energy Detectable. Ohio State University.
  • Cary, H. H. (March 1955). Papers presented at Ohio State University, June 1954. In Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy.
  • Cary, H., Hawes, R., George, K., Mann, A., & Rock, F. (January 1959). Aids in Raman Spectroscopy. In Spectrochimica ACTA. 15(3-4): 299.
  • Cary, Howard; Hawes, R. C.; Hooper, Paige B.; Duffield, J. J.; George, K. P. (1964). A Recording Spectropolarimeter. Applied Optics. 3(3): 329-337.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Simoni, Robert D.; Hill, Robert L.; Vaughan, Martha; Tabor, Herbert (December 5, 2003). "A Classic Instrument: The Beckman DU Spectrophotometer and Its Inventor, Arnold O. Beckman". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 278 (e1). Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "Beckman DU Spectrophotometer". National Museum of American History. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  3. ^ California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Database. FamilySearch. Henry H Cary, 03 May 1908. Citing Los Angeles, California, United States, Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento.
  4. ^ United States Census, 1940. Database with images. FamilySearch. Henry Cary. Tract 474, South Pasadena, Pasadena Judicial Township, Los Angeles, California, United States. Citing enumeration district (ED) 19-509, sheet 65A, family 10, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 243.
  5. ^ California Death Index, 1940-1997. Database. FamilySearch. Henry Howard Cary, 20 Dec 1991. Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.
  6. ^ Godfrey, Tom. (1992). Howard Cary. Fellows Profile. Optical Society of Southern California. Fullerton, CA.
  7. ^ Scott, F.S. (editor). (1930). The Big T, 1930. California Institute of Technology.
  8. ^ Editor. (2015). Howard Cary. Chemical Heritage Foundation. Philadelphia, PA.
  9. ^ "David Richardson Medal". The Optical Society. 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  10. ^ Editor. (2015). David Richardson Medal. The Optical Society.
  11. ^ Cary, Henry H. (5 July 1966). Double folded-z-configuration monochromator. U.S. Patent RE26,053E. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Filed: 11 February 1959.