Williams Nathan Gallup Haynes (1886-1970) received the 1950 Pugsley Bronze Medal. He is not an individual whom one would first think of as a conservationist. Yet his work in the chemical industry and passion for nature and the scenic outdoors led others to regard him as a "conservationist." His dedication to protecting the natural environment was the reason he was awarded the Pugsley Medal.
Haynes was born on July 29, 1886, in Detroit, Michigan. His father David Oliphant Haynes was the owner of a publishing company, D.O. Haynes & Co., and his mother was Helene Dunham Williams. After having worked six months as a reporter for the New York Sun and having edited Field and Fancy from 1906-1907, he enrolled at Johns Hopkins University in 1908. At Johns Hopkins, Haynes studied economics, biology, and chemistry, but left in 1911 before completing his degree.
For the next five years, Haynes worked on the fringes of journalism finding work as an author and editor. He became a special correspondent to Canada and Europe for Field and Fancy; worked as an editor for the Northampton, Massachusetts Herald; wrote seven short books relating to the breeding and keeping of dogs; and published several light verses entitled, "Collections of Americana."
In 1916, he told his father that the chemical journal Drug and Chemical Markets which the D.O. Haynes & Co. published was in dire need of improvement. His father challenged him to improve it himself, and appointed him secretary and editorial director. In 1920, he was named publisher of the journal, and in 1920 he was invited to serve on federal commissions responsible for business and chemical standards. In 1926, he split the journal into two separate entities, and took over the task of publishing one of the entities, Chemical Industries. During the same year, Haynes also began publishing Chemical Week and Modern Plastics. His work on these journals became his major focus and passion for the next three decades.
In 1928, Haynes established the Chemical Who's Who series, and served as editor of the series until 1951. He began publishing Chemical Economics in 1933 and Men, Money, and Molecules in 1936. He also published pamphlets based on speeches and presentations he had given at various symposiums. In 1939, Haynes sold his interest in the trade magazines in order to devote all his time to writing about the chemical industry. He moved to a 1750 farmhouse near Stonington in eastern Connecticut to devote all his time to writing about the chemical industry. From 1939 to 1955 he authored ten books on various aspects of it, several of which were reprinted in revised editions and translated into various other languages. Among these books was his major work, American Chemical Industry, a six-volume work, which was financially supported by major chemical manufacturers. The work traces the American chemical industry from its early beginnings through 1948, and includes detailed histories of the evolution of individual American chemical companies. His work in this area was recognized in 1957, when he received the prestigious Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for his "noteworthy contributions to the advancement of the history of chemistry."
After Haynes moved to Stonington, he gradually resumed his general historical studies. Moved by both the long history of the town and his own descent from colonial families, in 1949 he produced Stonington Chronology, 1649-1949. Between 1955 and 1963 he wrote a series of pamphlets about Stonington, its colonial personages, and its later manufactures; these appeared as Connecticut historical booklets, all reprinted or revised over the years. In addition, Haynes was always available to speak to civic groups, historical societies, and college audiences about the history of Connecticut, the chemical industry, or more general topics, delivering hundreds of talks. In his last years Haynes and his wife spent winters in Oaxaca, Mexico. Characteristically, he developed an interest in Mexican history and culture and studied them when he was in his eighties. He died in Stonington.
Foundation Image Archives, Philadelphia, PA.
Hawthorne, Robert M Jr (1999) Haynes, William, in American National Biography Volume 10 Editors Garraty JA and Carnes M.C. New York: Oxford Press.
Candace Shea contributed to the development of this biography
Photo: Williams Haynes Portrait Collection, Chemists Club Archives, Chemical Heritage