Papers of Thomas Stewart Patterson, 1872-1949, Professor of Organic Chemistry, 1919-1942, University of Glasgow, Scotland,

Scope and Content

  • Envelope containing letters and notes, 1936;
  • Envelope containing small, unidentified metal object, Glasgow Corporation drawing medal, correspondence, photograph, presscuttings, 1921-1974;
  • 11 black and white photographs of ships on the Clyde, 1910s-1963;
  • 28 black and white photographs of Patterson family members, 1909-1930s;
  • 27 black and white photographs of yachts, 1900s-1930s;
  • 11 black and white photographs, 1910s-1940s;
  • 14 black and white photographs, mainly of of St Kilda, 1920s.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Stewart Patterson was born in  July 1872  in Greenock. His father, Thomas Law Patterson, was a chemist. T S Patterson received his education at Greenock Academy, followed by Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh. He began to focus his studies on chemistry and studied under W Dittmar at the Andersonian College in Glasgow. In 1892 Patterson went to Heidelberg and worked in the laboratory of Victor Meyer and subsequently gained his PhD in  1895  from Heidelberg with a thesis entitled Ueber Iodoso -und Iodo-benzaldehyde. In 1896 Patterson returned to the United Kingdom and was Priestly Scholar under Percy Faraday Frankland at Mason College, Birmingham, where he developed an interest in stereochemistry, and particularly in optical activity. Between 1896-1904 he worked as a Demonstrator and Assistant Lecturer at the Yorkshire College in Leeds.

Patterson moved to Glasgow in 1904 and became a lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the  University of Glasgow and also a Senior Assistant to the Regius Professor, John Ferguson. During the same year he also became a Fellow of the Chemistry Society. In 1905 T S Patterson married Miss L P Johnson, the daughter of Reverend M P Johnstone of Greenock. The couple had one son, T V J Patterson, who was born in 1909. That year Patterson also gained a DSc from London and again from Glasgow in 1911.

In 1919, after taking charge of the department following Prof Ferguson's retirement in 1915, Patterson was awarded the prestigious Gardiner Chair of Organic Chemistry. He became the Dean of the Faculty of Science from 1923-1927. In 1923 he was also appointed the Waltonian Medical lecturer. Between 1933-1944 Patterson was an Assessor on the University Court. When he retired in  1942 , the University awarded him an LLD and the title of Emeritus Professor.

His publications number over a hundred papers in various journals, chiefly on optical activity, optical superposition, rate of transformation of certain organic compounds and on chemico-historical subjects.

T S Patterson was a keen yachtsman throughout his life and was a member of the Clyde Corinthian Yachting Club. Thomas Stewart Patterson died on the  14th February 1949 .

Sources: The College Courant,Vol. I, No.2, (1949, Glasgow); Who's Who, (1941, London); obituary notice published in J. Chem Soc 1949, 0, 1667-1669 by J D Loudon


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Biggart Baillie & Gilford : 105 West George Street, Glasgow,G2 1QP : 1993

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History

Received from the solicitors responsible for Professor Patterson's Trust Fund


None expected

Related Material

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Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by Hannah Westall, Archives Assistant, 22 May 2000.

Lower levels catalogued by Amy Robinson, archive assistant, 2011.

Amendments made by Emma Anthony, Business Archives Cataloguer, 8 January 2013. Lower levels converted to EAD by Michael Beesley, Archive Assistant, August 2013. Amended by Sam Maddra, Assistant Archivist (cataloguing), 09 January 2014.

Geographical Names