Carl W. Otto

According to his sister Edna Otto, Carl W. Otto's sense of humor won him his first job. When asked during an interview what he had done in World War II, Otto replied, "Attempt to win it!"

Carl Otto's career in the chemical industry began at U.S. Rubber, where he obtained his first patent for "Insulated Electrical Conductor" in 1953. In the 1960s he moved to New York to be with his two sisters, who were studying at New York University. An avid Red Sox fan, he decided to look for a new job after "growing tired of watching baseball," Edna Otto says. His next move led him to a distinguished career of more than 30 years as a cryogenic engineer at Airco, which later became British Oxygen. An exceptional specialist in cryogenics, Carl Otto traveled the country in pursuit of innovative technologies, helping to discover best methods for freezing everything from shrimp to strawberries. Another of his patents dealt with improved methods for rapidly cooling bacon slabs. His technique allowed for slabs to be removed from a smokehouse to slicing temperature without impairing their physical characteristics.

Good friend and colleague Harry Hayes recalls that staff members at Airco used to call Carl Otto "Professor Otto." "Carl was a wonderful teacher," Hayes says. "He had exceptional skill and patience in working with young people."

Carl Otto, a 56-year member, remembered ACS in his estate with an unrestricted bequest. His generous gift will help the Society develop the next generation of innovators.