African-American Pioneers in Science

Lloyd Augustus Hall (1894 - 1971)

Lloyd Augustus Hall Photo
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Elgin, Illinois


B.S Chemistry, Northwestern University
M.S., University of Chicago
D.Sc., Virginia State College

  • Lloyd Augustus Hall
  • African-American pioneer in food chemistry
  • Performed pioneering work in food preservation resulting in over 100 patents
  • Member of National Inventors Hall of Fame

Chemist Lloyd Augustus Hall was born in Elgin, Illinois on June 20, 1894. His father, Augustus, was a minister and mother, Isabel, a homemaker. Both his parents were high school graduates. After graduating from high school in 1912, Hall went on to study pharmaceutical chemistry at Northwestern University where he graduated with a B.S. in 1916. After college, Hall held research chemist positions at John Morrell & Company and Boyer Chemical Laboratory.
In 1922 he founded Chemical Products Corporation, a food science consulting firm.
Hall devoted much of his research to the technologies behind curing and preserving meat and meat products.
In 1932, he developed a process that combined table salt and nitrates into one crystal. This new process effectively preserved meat as well as its flavor and color. Previous methods meant to accomplish the same resulted in either premature meat spoilage or bad tasting meat. Hall's methods for processed meat products worked so well, they became the standard for decades.
Hall also investigated the role of spices in food preservation and invented new uses of antioxidants to prevent food spoilage.