Appel, William D. (Deceased)
Bill was born on December 21, 1892. He lived his entire life, except for his college years, in Washington, D.C., and died in November of 1983. He received his BS degree in zoology and chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1917, and was awarded an Honorary MS degree from Lowell Textile Institute in 1952 and an Honorary ScD from North Carolina State College in 1960. Despite his early interest in zoology, Bill’s professional career revolved around dyes and textile sciences, and he spent most of his working life with the National Bureau of Standards, serving as chief of their Textiles Section and assistant chief of the Division of Organic and Fibrous Materials . Bill was a member of numerous scientific organizations and received a number of notable honors, including the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Gold Medal (1953), the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists’ Olney Medal (1954), and the American Society for Testing Materials’ Harold DeWill Smith Memorial Medal (1957). He also was included in Measures For Progress, the three volume history of the National Bureau of Standards published by the Department of Commerce, and is included in the Gallery of Distinguished Scientists maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. During World War II, Bill worked with all three branches of the Armed Forces, the War Production Board, the National Research Council, the Board of Economic Welfare, and the Office of Price Administration to develop and produce textiles and dyes for military uses. The success of his Textile Section in these efforts of the National Bureau of Standards was so notable that it is mentioned in the chemistry section of OSRD: Science in World War II, 1948. Unfortunately, then available technology did not make it possible for them to develop “the bullet-proof and edible fabrics” that were sought. Bill was elected to membership in the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1925. The database in the Smithsonian’s Entomology Department indicates he collected insects on the island in July and August 1913.