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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Hart, Edwin Bret 1874 - 1953

Definition: agricultural chemist, professor of biochemistry, b. near Sandusky, Ohio. He graduated from the Univ. of Michigan (B.S., 1897), studied in Germany, and worked for several years as chemist for the New York State (agriculture) Experiment Station, Geneva, N.Y. In 1906 he came to the Univ. of Wisconsin as head of the department of agricultural chemistry, and also sewed as chemist in the university's experiment station. A pioneer in the science of animal nutrition, Hart worked with George C. Humphrey (q.v.), Harry Steenbock, and others on the series of experiments that led to the discovery of vitamins and the principles of mineral absorption. Hart's later research ranged widely, but his major contributions concerned animal nutrition, vitamins, biochemistry, the use of copper and iron in the treatment of anemia, the stabilization of iodine in salt, and the chemistry of cheese ripening. In collaboration with various colleagues, Hart did pioneer work in tracing leg weakness in chickens to vitamin deficiency. He headed his department at the university for 38 years, and in July, 1945, retired to the status of emeritus professor of biochemistry. He was an adviser to the protein and nutrition division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's bureau of chemistry and soils and was also a consultant for the quartermaster food and container institute. He was the author or co-author of several hundred articles and also wrote books on agricultural chemistry. Who's Who in Amer., 25 (1948); Amer. Men of Sci. (1949); W. H. Glover, Farm and College (Madison, 1952); M. Curti and V. Carstensen, Univ. of Wis. (2 vols., Madison, 1949); Madison Wis. State Journal, Mar. 13, 1953; Univ. of Wis. Faculty Memorial, Document 1089, June 1, 1953 (on file in office of secretary of the faculty).

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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