Piccard, Jean-Félix 1884-1963

Alternative names
Dates:
birth 1884‑01‑28
death 1963‑01‑28
Gender:
VIAF, LC
Switzerland
Undetermined

Biographical notes:

Jean Felix Piccard was born January 28, 1884 in Basel, Switzerland, educated at Basel and at the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich where he received his doctorate in 1909. He moved to the United States in 1916 and taught first at the University of Chicago, and then (in 1936) at the University of Minnesota, Dept. of Aeronautical Engineering, where he remained until he retired in 1952. He was a pioneering stratosphere balloonist and cosmic ray research scientist.

From the description of Papers, 1932-1952. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 86134262

From the description of Jean Felix Piccard papers, 1932-1952 (bulk 1935-1942). (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 63300851

Jean Felix Piccard, Dipl. Ing. Chem. (1907), Dr. Sc. (1909), Swiss Institute of Technology (Zurich). Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Minnesota (1936-1952). Pioneer in the field of stratospheric flight and cosmic ray research.

Jean Felix Piccard was born on January 28, 1884 in Basle, Switzerland. He was educated in Basle and at the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich where he received the degree of Dr. Sc. in 1909. He moved to the United States in 1916 where he taught at the University of Chicago. In 1919, he married Jeannette Ridlon, who worked with her husband in many of his studies and experiments. She would, in 1935, receive her Ph. D. from the University of Minnesota. Together, they had three sons; John, Paul, and Donald. Jean Felix Piccard joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 1936 as a lecturer in the Department of Aeronautical Engineering where he remained until his retirement in 1952. He was considered a pioneering stratosphere balloonist and cosmic ray research scientist.

The Piccard family was internationally known for scientific achievement. His father, Jules Piccard, was Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Basle. His twin brother, Auguste Piccard, later became the inventor of the stratosphere balloon, and made the first stratosphere flight in Europe in 1931. He is equally noted for his development of equipment for undersea exploration.

Jean Felix and Jeannette Piccard's famous stratosphere flight in 1934 was made in a balloon that left the Ford Airport in Dearborn, Michigan. It was the first flight made in the United States to study cosmic rays. In 1937, they boarded the "Pleiades" at Soldiers Field in Rochester, Minnesota to make another successful flight.

Piccard retired from the University of Minnesota in 1952 as professor emeritus, and died eleven years later on his birthday in 1963.

From the guide to the Jean Felix Piccard papers, 1932-1952, (bulk 1935-1942), (University of Minnesota Libraries. University of Minnesota Archives [uarc])



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