About ASMS and MS History

Seeking Archivist

Both the field of mass spectrometry and the Society itself have rich histories.  With the dedicated assistance of archivist Michael Grayson, ASMS has committed to preserving as much of this history as possible for the enjoyment and enrichment of the community.  Sadly Mike has retired as ASMS archivist, and ASMS Board of Directors is seeking a creative talent to take over the archivist position.

Applicant must be a member of ASMS for at least 10 years with a strong interest in the history of mass spectrometry and a talent for creating educational materials to tell and preserve the history.

  1.  Create new “history posters” as authorized by the ASMS Board;
  2. Become an active ASMS representative to the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF), of which ASMS is an affiliate;
  3. In conjunction with CHF, conduct “oral histories” of notable mass spectrometrists as directed by the ASMS Board;
  4. Provide written status reports to the ASMS Board for their meetings in August and February.
This position has no compensation; however, expenses are covered for the following:
  1. Up to six nights hotel for the ASMS annual conference;
  2. One annual trip to CHF in Philadelphia;
  3. Additional trips to CHF as approved by the ASMS Board;
  4. Professional design and production of historical materials, including posters. 

Please send a one-page expression of interest to office@asms.org by July 31, 2016.

History Projects sponsored by ASMS under the leadership of the Archivist.

The Oral History Project supports the transcription of interviews with luminaries in the field of mass spectrometry.

The History Posters illustrate the time line of the Society, historical instruments, and historical developments in mass spectrometry.

History Videos

Alfred O.C. Nier Video Al Nier's Early Career at the University of Minnesota: Discovery of a New Isotope of Potassium First Commerical Manufacturer of Mass Spectrometers: ConsolidatedEngineering Corp (CEC)
Learn about how CEC workshops evolve into today's ASMS

Recording Mass Spectra with a Mass Spectrograph
The CEC 21-110 Mass Spectrograph using photoplate detection

The Ion Optics of a Mauttauch-Herzog Mass Analyzer: The CEC 21-110

One Man's Noise: Christie G. Enke remembers development of the Triple Quad Mass Spectrometer


Chemical Heritage Foundation

ASMS has been an affiliated society of the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) for over 20 years. During that time, the ASMS archivist has served as an observer of the CHF Board Meetings, then as a member of the Board of Directors, and finally as a member of the Chemical Heritage Council.

CHF has contributed to ASMS by providing support and assistance on a number of projects.
  • Collection and maintenance of significant mass spectrometry artifacts. 
  • Providing funds and services for the publication of “Measuring Mass” for the 50th Anniversary Conference. 
  • Providing funds and services in the collection and maintenance of oral histories of prominent scientists in the field of mass spectrometry. 
  • Providing funds and resources for the collection and organization of papers of prominent mass spectrometrists. 
You are encouraged to visit CHF online (www.chemheritage.org) or in person if you are in Philadelphia. The Chemical Heritage Foundation and Museum is located at 315 Chestnut Street, in the heart of the Philadelphia historic district.

CHF also features Critical Mass: A History of Mass Spectrometry on their site - a curated series of pages taken from the joint ASMS-CHF Oral History Project.