Out of their mutual passion for optics and astronomy, Richard Perkin and Charles Elmer came together to form the Perkin-Elmer brand in 1937, which introduced major scientific innovations and advancements throughout the years, including computer-aided chemistry, the first commercially manufactured spectrophotometer, and the first gas chromatograph.
Our Innovators Then & Now
Our commitment to innovation is founded upon the monumental work of PerkinElmer scientists and researchers who have developed market leading advancements. Innovation at PerkinElmer began with our quest to look outwards to the universe, advancing astronomy with precision optics. Over time, our focus turned inwards, discovering and developing technologies to image, detect and analyze even the smallest of samples. The future of science and innovation at PerkinElmer brings promise to the world, as customers face even more complex challenges and rely on us to develop breakthrough solutions that address their most critical issues.
Meet our past and present innovators below.
©Harold & Esther Edgerton Foundation, 2012, courtesy of Palm Press, Inc.
In 1931, Dr. Harold Eugene Edgerton and his two partners, Kenneth Germeshausen and Herbert Grier, formed EG&G. During the following 30 years, EG&G advanced the field of electro-optics in unmatched research and development with more than 50 exclusive patents. Among Edgerton's many successes, he accepted the Medal of Freedom from the United States War Department for his efforts to develop strobe lamp technology.
"I have observed the evolution of innovation as the technological developments [we] have made in signal amplification and detection areas (such as discovering new cellular pathways, mechanisms of disease, identifying new drug targets and rare cell types, and screening newborns for HIV infection), have influenced the advancement of scientific knowledge. As we look ahead at the future of science and innovation, I really hope 'the best is yet to come.' I think we are sitting on innovation that will make the greatest impact…"
— Mark Bobrow, Science Director, 1984-Present
"While a graduate student at Yale University from 1978-1987, I developed the first electrospray ion source for mass spectroscopy…which has helped to advance the fields of medicine, biology and biochemistry enormously. Today, PerkinElmer is a driving force in helping to fight disease and addressing the environmental issues …and [I believe] we will continue to be a top player."
— Craig Whitehouse, Former Founder of Analytica of Branford. Now Senior Director, Applications/Research 1987-Present
"I have worked in the development of ICP (Inductively Coupled Plasma) generators and patented some of our newest technologies, from a needle-sized plasma to meter-long plasmas that will run on almost any gas. These technological advancements open the door to new innovative instrumentation, [in which] we have remained a leader. In the future, as there will be increasing demands for identifying environmental hazards, agriculture, and food safety, I see PerkinElmer as the frontrunner in improving the health and safety of people and the environment, 'for the better'."
— Peter Morrisroe, Principal Scientist, 1976-Present
Jorma Wallasvaara, an inventor by nature, founded Wallac Oy in Turku, Finland in 1950 as a two-person company. With Wallasvaara's leadership and innovative spirit, Wallac evolved into a leading instruments manufacturer for thermal technology, civil engineering and eventually grew to produce some of the most important diagnostic screening systems, including developing the first newborn screening kit in Europe in 1985.
Dr. Marcel Golay joined Perkin-Elmer in 1962 as a senior scientist and invented the Golay infrared sensor, which at the time, was the most sensitive infrared sensor available, helping establish Perkin-Elmer as a leader in infrared technology. PerkinElmer instituted the Marcel Golay Award in honor of him and presents the annual award to a scientist in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in capillary chromatography.
Dr. Leslie Ettre worked at Perkin-Elmer for 32 years and in addition to the major contributions he made to gas chromatography (GC), he wrote and edited over 40 books and almost 400 articles and papers. PerkinElmer instituted the Leslie Ettre Award in honor of him and presents the annual award to a scientist 35 years old or younger who offers the most interesting original research in capillary gas chromatography with an emphasis on environmental and food safety.