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Georges Claude

Born: 24-Sep-1870
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: 23-May-1960
Location of death: Saint Cloud, France
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Neon lighting

French chemist Georges Claude invented the neon light, showing that neon gas in glass tubes is sensitive to electricity and glows when heated. Claude first displayed his two straight tubes of light at a Paris art and science exposition in 1910, but made his fortune selling bent neon-filled glass tubes in the shape of letters for radiant, eye-catching advertising. Largely self-taught, Claude also developed a process for liquefying air, and established the science and technology company Air Liquide. He developed improved techniques for generating electricity through the re-gassification of liquid oxygen, invented a methodology for synthesizing ammonia, pioneered the use of liquid oxygen in iron smelting, and showed that flammable acetylene gas could be dissolved into liquid acetone and be made much safer to transport. In the First World War he developed liquid chlorine for use in poison gas attacks for the French military, but during the Second World War he openly supported occupying Nazi forces, and urged a harsh crackdown on the French Resistance. After WWII he was imprisoned as a collaborator, from 1945-49.

Wife: (m. 1893, three children)

    High School: École de Physique et Chimie, Paris, France (1886)

    National Inventors Hall of Fame 2007
    Air Liquide Co-Founder (1902)
    French Ancestry

Author of books:
Liquid Air, Oxygen, Nitrogen (1913, with Henry E. P. Cottrell)
Ma Vie et Mes Inventions (My life and my inventions) (1957, memoir)

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