Wallace R. Brode

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Wallace Reed Brode (12 June 1900 – August 1974) was an American chemist.[1] He was president of the American Chemical Society in 1969 and of the Optical Society of America in 1961.[2] He received the Priestley Medal in 1960.


Brode was born in Walla Walla, Washington state, one of a set of triplets along with brothers Malcolm and Robert, each of whom became a distinguished scientist. He also had another older brother, Stanley. His father Howard was a biology professor at Whitman College, where the older Brode he would earn his D.Sc in 1921. While studying for his Ph.D at University of Illinois under Roger Adams, he developed a lifelong interest in dyes and spectroscopy.

He was on the faculty of Ohio State University (1928–48, professor 1939–48); head of the science department at US Naval Ordnance Test Station 1945–47; Science Adviser to the US Secretary of State 1958–60; director of Barnes Engineering Co. in Washington from 1960 onwards. He also served on the board of trustees for Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1957-1972.

At some point during his career he developed the atomic model set, though he never patented this, he was the first to create and implement pegs and balls to represent atoms and bonds in chemical compounds in 3-dimensions.


  • Chemical Spectroscopy 1939
  • (with others) Laboratory Outlines of Organic Chemistry 1940
  • (with others) The Roger Adams Symposium 1955


  1. ^ Sawyer, Ralph A. (November 1974). "Wallace Brode". Physics Today. 27 (11): 79. doi:10.1063/1.3129007. 
  2. ^ Past Presidents of the Optical Society of America http://www.osa.org/aboutosa/leadership/pastpresidents/default.aspx

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