Irene Caroline Diner Koenigsberger
Irene Caroline Diner Koenigsberger discovered the molecular structure of rubber but refused to patent her work, making her discovery available to all. The daughter of Jacob Diner, chemistry professor and founding dean of Fordham University Pharmacy School, Koenigsberger was encouraged in the sciences from an early age. She studied at Hunter and Columbia before earning her doctorate from NYU in 1921. As part of her dissertation on the molecular structure of rubber, Koenigsberger discovered a way to determine the life of rubber products. Auto manufacturers and other companies sought to buy and patent her work, but she didn’t want to limit the knowledge to just a few companies. She worked for the Chemical Warfare Service in the 1920s, was chief chemist of the National Voice Amplifying Company in the 1930s, and worked for the War Department during WWII. She was also active in the Washington, DC Jewish community, cofounding Temple Sinai with her husband and serving as honorary vice president. She also served as founding president of the local chapter of B’nai B’rith Women and, through them, established a Hillel at George Washington University and supported a home for emotionally disturbed children in Jerusalem.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Irene Caroline Diner Koenigsberger ." (Viewed on July 22, 2019) <https://qa.jwa.org/people/koenigsberger-irene>.