John E. Teeple

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John Edgar Teeple
John E. Teeple Chemists Club President 1921-1922 2003.531.025.tif
President of the Chemists Club, 1921-1922
Born(1874-01-04)January 4, 1874
DiedMay 28, 1931(1931-05-28) (aged 57)
NationalityUnited States
Alma materValparaiso University, Cornell University
SpouseLina Pease
Scientific career
FieldsChemical engineer

John Edgar Teeple (January 4, 1874 – March 23, 1931)[1] was an American chemical engineer who served as President of The Chemists' Club from 1921-1922[1] and received the Perkin Medal in 1927 for his work on potash during World War I.[2]

He was also a researcher and contributor to the field of Mesoamerican studies during the first half of the 20th century. He published several papers on the epigraphy and astronomy of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, and he is most noted for being the first to decipher the nature and meaning of the series of glyphs in the Maya writing system known as the "Supplementary Series", proving they referred to the position of a given day in the lunar cycle.[3]

The mathematically adept Teeple was encouraged into the field of Maya studies by his friend, the Mesoamerican scholar Sylvanus G. Morley, one of the foremost Mayanist researchers of his day.[4] By this time (the mid-1920s), although a few details relating to the functioning of the Maya calendar system and some astronomical notation had been worked out, the great majority of ancient Maya inscriptions and glyphs remained mysterious and undeciphered.


  1. ^ a b Hannan, Caryn; Herman, Jennifer L., eds. (2008). Illinois encyclopedia (2008-2009 ed.). Hamburg, MI: State History Publications. pp. 664–665. ISBN 978-1-878592-96-5. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  2. ^ Cornell Alumni News, Volume 29, Number 5, October 28, 1926, p. 28 Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Sarton, George (November 1931). "Maya Astronomy. John Edgar Teeple". Isis. 16 (2): 459–462. doi:10.1086/346623.
  4. ^ Coe, Michael D. (1992). Breaking the Maya Code. London: Thames & Hudson. p. 130. ISBN 0-500-05061-9..