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date: 06 March 2021

Olsen, Fredlocked

(28 February 1891–02 November 1986)
  • Albert B. Costa


Olsen, Fred (28 February 1891–02 November 1986), industrial chemist and art collector, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, the son of Fredrick Olsen, a textbook publisher, and Elizabeth Young. In 1906 Olsen’s father retired and purchased a farm in Ontario, Canada. After working for a few years in Quebec lumber camps Olsen applied for a scholarship to the University of Toronto. He hoped to study classics in order to enter the church or become a teacher. To his surprise he ranked first in chemistry in the scholarship examination. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry in 1916 and 1918. He married Florence Quittenton in 1917 in Drummondville, Quebec, where he was a chemist for Aetna Explosives; the couple had two children. The Canadian government loaned him to the United States as an explosives expert for the duration of World War I, and he spent 1917–1918 in Emporium, Pennsylvania, at the Aetna Explosives plant and research laboratory. Before the war had ended, Aetna Explosives became overextended and went into receivership, and Olsen decided to remain in the United States....

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