Updated 23-XII-2018

Dr. Gorton R. Fonda

This article was written by fellow lamp engineer and collector Edward J. Covington, and originally appeared on his own website of biographical sketches of persons involved in the lamp industry. Following his passing in February 2017, and with kind permission of his family, Ed's words have been preserved here in the hope of maintaining access to his writings for the benefit of subsequent generations.

Dr. Gorton Fonda demonstrating the difference in illumination of a fluorescent lamp, and a Mazda incandescent lamp of the same wattage

Gorton Rosa Fonda (27 Nov 1884 - 16 Dec 1973)13,17 was born in New York City and was the son of Thomas Franklin Fonda (b.1864) and Nellie Rosa (née; Gorton) Fonda (b.1860)16. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1907 with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and in 1908 from New York University with a M.A. degree in the same field9. He then attended the Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe, Germany, where he studied physical chemistry under Fritz Haber and earned the degree of Dr. Ing (Doctor of Engineering) in 1910. It is worth mentioning that Fritz Haber (1868-1934), a friend of Albert Einstein, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1919 for the synthesis of ammonia from its elements. It is also of interest to note that the Fonda-published work No.2, given below, apparently involved his Master's degree work undertaken at New York University.

Gorton Fonda joined the staff of the General Electric Research Laboratory at Schenectady in 191012. A year earlier, the 1932 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Irving Langmuir, also had joined the Laboratory. He and Fonda became friends, resulting in Fonda being an usher at Langmuir's wedding in 191211. Langmuir's invention of the gas-filled incandescent lamp certainly had an influence on Fonda's early work in research because he explored the evaporation rates of tungsten in gas atmospheres. Fonda's areas of research appear to have been almost entirely within the field of lighting or in the application of phosphors.

During the 1910s and 1920s Fonda headed the Glassblowing Department18. In 1917, at the request of the U.S. Army and Navy, the Harrison Lamp Works (New Jersey) was mobilized for the mass production of pliotron tubes and Fonda had the responsibility of establishing the manufacturing facility14. After World War I Fonda did research on incandescent lamps (tungsten filaments), working under Dr. Saul Dushman18.

On October 3, 1931 Gorton Fonda married Miss Alice Baldwin Chapman (b. 23 Oct 1900)17, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Wells Chapman, of Bridgeport, Connecticut2,3. Miss Chapman was a graduate of Smith College1. Dr. and Mrs. Fonda had two children, Carolyn and Thomas. Carolyn is also known by the abbreviated spelling and pronunciation, Caryl, - a suggestion made by her father19.

Gorton Fonda was well situated in time and place for the coming work on discharge lamps, especially the fluorescent lamp, which had its practical beginning about 1934. While design and manufacturing problems were foremost on the minds of workers in Cleveland, the understanding and description of various materials were investigated at the Schenectady Research Laboratory. The fundamental understanding of fluorescence and phosphorescence was required to try to optimize lamp performance. Fonda also made a contribution to the approaching war in 1941. Quoting from the New York Times8:
"Dr. Fonda and his associates developed the American version of the radar screen fourteen days after the problem had been assigned to the laboratory. The screen upon which the radar signals are translated into visible light was designed by Dr. Fonda and his associates at the behest of the National Defense Research Council during the year preceding the bombing of Pearl Harbor."
The contributions Fonda made to the newly developed fluorescent lamp, as well as other discharge lamps, within the General Electric Company, are clear from Forsythe and Adams' book titled Fluorescent and Other Gaseous Discharge Lamps5, which was published in 1948. Nine of his articles that were published between the years 1938-1946 are cited. Fonda continued to publish articles regarding phosphors after his retirement in 1949. He was a consultant to GE for several years and attended a conference on luminescence at Cambridge University in England in 1954. His presented paper was published in the British Journal of Applied Physics in 1955. Fonda's last published article, as cited in this write-up, is dated 1957.

Gorton Fonda was a person who believed in an athletic regimen. He walked several miles to work and coworkers would regularly stop to offer him a ride; the offers, of course, were declined17. He was known to be diplomatic and sociable by nature, and Willis R. Whitney, the head of the Research Laboratory, would use Fonda to make outside contacts18. In addition to his successful career, he had varied interests outside of the everyday work routine. For example, in 1921 he was a member of the Montgomery County, New York Agricultural Society. He was also interested in the local amateur stage productions.

Fonda's work areas consisted of: x-ray spectroscopy, electron emission, cathode ray tubes, and illuminants, including incandescent filament lamps, sodium lamps and fluorescent lamps9. During the period 1935-1950 he was interested in the study and applications of fluorescence and phosphorescence. Gorton Fonda was a member of the Chemical Society, Optical Society, and a Fellow of the Physical Society6.

In 1939 Neil B. Reynolds and Ellis L. Manning published a book titled Excursions in Science4. The following is taken directly from the Preface of their book.
"In May, 1936, the General Electric Company instituted a radio program, called The Science Forum, designed to present the meaning, scope, and several purposes of modern scientific research and engineering in language that could be understood by the intelligent layman. As part of that program, workers in many fields of science were invited to present short talks on their particular fields of study."
The topic presented below is one of two talks given by Dr. Gorton R. Fonda.
"Near the close of the sixteenth century, in Bologna - that ancient city in northern Italy famous for its sausage - there lived a certain shoemaker. He made money at his trade, and then spent it in the study and practice of alchemy. Nowadays we look rather patronizingly on the alchemists as deluded souls, forever trying to convert common metals into gold. But we tend to forget that alchemy was an important stage in the growth of chemistry, and that the alchemists did much to advance the knowledge and practice of that science. "Even this humble shoemaker alchemist made a notable discovery. In the course of his laboratory experiments he found that a certain mineral, which he had picked up on the hills nearby, continued to shine brightly in the dark after previous exposure to light. Actually, this mineral was heavy spar, a barium sulphide. This was the first time that the phenomenon we now call fluorescence had come to anyone's attention. Other scientists of the age were greatly excited by the discovery, and called the mineral Bologna stone.

"Its fame started further studies. It was soon found that the fluorescent light excited from this stone had always the same color, regardless of the color of light used for its illumination - a notable observation that has since been found to hold fairly well for all classes of fluorescence. Then other substances were found that behaved similarly, not only minerals but also organic materials, such as the tincture of certain woods and leaves, and finally, solutions of the artificial dyes. Nevertheless, the accumulation of a definite and complete knowledge of the formation and behavior of fluorescence was slow.

"For instance, it was not until about 1840 that Sir John Herschel noted the shimmer of blue fluorescence from a solution of quinine sulphate when it was held in the path of a strong beam of light, and then observed that the beam of light, after passage through the solution, was unable to provoke the blue light in a second solution held in its path. This was a clear demonstration that fluorescence is produced by light of one definite color, or, as we say, wave length. When that constituent color is removed from a beam of light, as was done by absorbing it in the first solution of quinine sulphate, then that which remains is unable to bring about any further fluorescence, although we still perceive it as a beam of light. It was not until 1852, however, that this was fully appreciated, and a complete statement was given of the nature of fluorescence by the English scientist, Stokes. It was he, by the way, who gave the phenomenon its present name of fluorescence, in honor of fluorspar, a mineral which had been found to exhibit it.

"When a beam of light is passed through a prism, it is broken up into the spectral colors, ranging from red to violet. Extending down into wave lengths shorter than the violet there is radiation, invisible to the eye, but nevertheless very real. It is this that gives us sunburn and germicidal action - radiation appropriately called the ultraviolet, because it lies beyond the violet.

"Now the color of a substance is due to the fact that it absorbs certain of these spectral colors. The portion that it does not absorb is passed on to the eye and perceived as the color by which we call it. Stokes found that fluorescence could be excited only by light whose color, or wave length, was such that it might be absorbed by the fluorescent substance. He found also, and it has become known as Stokes' Law, that the color of the fluorescent light given off is, in general, of longer wave length than the color of the light that excites the fluorescence. Take as an example the dye, rhodamine. Its solution exhibits a brilliant red color, and it has a strong absorption for green and yellow light. Now, examine a solution of rhodamine under green light; the solution appears a more brilliant red than ever. Experience will tell you that not every red solution does this. Try a bottle of red ink, which likewise absorbs the green and yellow. Placed under green light, it appears black. All of the green is absorbed by it, and since it does not fluoresce, no light whatever can be given off from it.

"Not all fluorescent substances are excited by light whose wave length is so close to their fluorescent color. Take, for instance, the natural minerals willemite, which is zinc silicate, and calcite, a calcium carbonate. Both are white in color. That means that they absorb no light in the visible range of the spectrum. Will they, therefore, show no fluorescence? Well, it is true that they will show none under any of the spectral colors ranging from red to violet. But we must not overlook the ultraviolet. And they do have absorption for radiation in the ultraviolet. When exposed, therefore, to light from a quartz mercury lamp, their fluorescence flashes out in colors of startling brilliance - green for willemite and red for calcite. Not all samples of willemite and calcite are fluorescent, nor are they the only minerals that fluoresce. There are many others, each yielding fluorescence of a different color. It makes a fascinating chase, getting out into the hills, searching out minerals, identifying them, and then trying them out to see if they develop fluorescence.

"Before we describe any further experiments, something should be said about how fluorescence occurs. Why is it that a substance should give off a colored light when illumined with light of a different color? An explanation is at hand the moment one considers what can be called the atomic structure of the substance, and then goes even deeper and examines the structure of the atom itself.

"Suppose we are examining an office building. Seeing it first from a distance, our earliest impression is of its over-all shape, which was detemined by the design of the architect. Similarly, a mineral sample at first glance is nothing but an object with a shape determined by the hammer blows that chipped it out. Closer examination brings out details in both cases. When we enter the building, we find it divided into square rooms about the same shape and size as those in every other office building, regardless of the exterior shape of the building, whether narrow and high or broad and long. Just so with the mineral. The X ray allows us to inspect its interior, and it reveals a regular pattern of compartments, just as regularly laid out as the rooms in a building. Each one of these compartments constitutes an atom.

"But the analogy goes even further. Each room of the building has people moving about in it, all actively engaged under the direction of an individual who remains always comfortably disposed in a large chair, quiet and dignified - the boss. Each of these people has a desk, which represents his headquarters; but occasionally the orders that he receives require him to get up and move somewhere else, perhaps to go to one of the wall cases to file a letter. An identical situation holds within the compartment occupied by the atom; for still closer scrutiny shows that the atom is made up of many individual units. Some of them, called electrons, are very active, constantly in motion. Like the workers in the office, they seem to be arranged in the same orderly style about another unit, just as quiet and reposeful as the boss, called the nucleus. In addition to the normal activity of the electrons, as they are engaged at their desks, so to speak, some one of them will occasionally receive a message and, in response to it, move away - that is, go off to the walls.

"Now it is this movement that is important for the development of fluorescence. It denotes what is known as excitation of the atom. It occurs in one of two ways: either in an electric discharge, where the atom receives an impulse from a free electron carrying an electric current and passes it on to one of its constituent electrons; or else by absorption of an appropriate beam of light, which can convey a similar impulse. In each of these ways the atom can be excited and an electron ejected. In each of these ways external energy is brought to bear on the atom - the force of a blow from a beam of light. And in each case enough of this energy is transferred to an electron to hurl it out from its normal position to an outer one.

"The next step is readily anticipated. When the electron bounces back to its normal position, like a ball on a rubber string, the energy received from the blow is given up. When this energy is thus released, it can reappear in two ways, as heat or as light.

"If the substance is a gas, virtually all of the energy reappears as light, and in the simplest case this fluorescent light is of the same wave length or color as that of the exciting light. But in a solid the case is different. There are thousands of times as many atoms in any given volume of a solid as in the same volume of a gas. As a consequence of this crowded condition, there are thousands of times as many collisions or bumps between the atoms in any given period of time. Collisions between excited atoms lead to a loss of their stored-up energy, so that some of it is converted into heat before it can be reemitted as light. Because of this loss, the fluorescent light is of lower energy content, so that it reappears in longer wave lengths than characterized the exciting light. In other words, it is displaced toward the red end of the spectrum.

"Now we can come back to our organic dye, rhodamine. If a solution is made of it and exposed to green or yellow light, a strong red fluorescence appears. There is just one requirement - that the solution be extremely dilute. As it becomes more concentrated , the intensity of fluorescence falls off, finally decreasing to a mere trace in a concentrated solution. Solid rhodamine itself shows no fluorescence whatever. Why? Because under increasing concentration, molecules of rhodamine are thrown closer and closer together until finally an excited molecule loses all of its energy by bumps with its neighbors and has none left to emit as light.

"A similar behavior is shown by the minerals. Some outstanding examples are zinc silicate and the sulphides of calcium, barium and strontium, as well as of zinc. The common feature in all of these is the absence of fluorescence in the pure salt. They become luminescent only after fusion with some other metal, called an activator. The amount of this activator must be extremely small. Above 2 per cent, the fluorescence is lowered, and when the concentration becomes too high, the fluorescence no longer appears at all. Another case of too great concentration.

"With some fluorescent salts, particularly the sulphides, luminescence continues after the exciting light has been removed. To this phenomenon is given the name phosphorescence. The electrons, which had been thrown out from their normal paths during excitation, give rise to fluorescence, as we have seen, when they return to their normal positions. In this case, however, their return has very evidently been delayed. There is such complexity within the molecule that the return of the electron becomes a highly involved process.

"One can make these fluorescent materials artificially. Silicates are the easiest, and anyone with a little laboratory equipment can try it. Take about equal parts of pure zinc oxide and silica, add about 1 per cent of manganese oxide, mix thoroughly by grinding, and then fire in a porcelain crucible at 1000° centigrade or higher for an hour or longer. Put a cover on the crucible and wrap some asbestos around it to retain the heat better. Then hunt up a friend who has a quartz mercury lamp and find out how strong luminescence you have been able to produce. Compare your sample with natural willemite. You may have improved on nature.

"So far, mention has been made only of the fluorescent minerals and the fluorescent dyes. But fluorescence is by no means confined to these. It is of frequent occurrence among the products of nature. As a consequence, it can be used as a means of analysis, in testing for purity or for adulterants. Butter shows a color different from that of margarine. Milk fluoresces, but only while fresh. Cheese shows a range of colors that vary as the ripening progreses. Lubricating oils fluoresce, and the color is different for those that tend to gum. Flour from different grains fluoresces differently. And here is an interesting test to distinguish between false and true perennials of rye. Plant the seed between moist filter papers so that it will germinate. In a few days rootlets form, and the paper absorbs from them some of their sap and acquires a stain. Test this stain for fluorescence. All the false perennials give a fluorescent stain, but the true do not.

"Bacteria and fungi fluoresce, all of them differently. But the mere fluorescence from them is sufficient evidence of the extent of aging in meat and fish.

"There is an interesting application of fluorescence that has a romantic tinge, and at the same time it opens possibilities for detecting alterations in legal documents and bank checks. It has to do with parchment.

"In Europe many centuries ago, parchment was treasured as the only available medium on which books could be written. A monk would do beautiful work copying out a book carefully, word by word, on parchment. But the next generation would consider his product not so worthy of immortality as some new book, freshly composed. So, because parchment was scarce and expensive, the carefully written words of the old book would be erased and a new book would be written on the old parchment. Was the original book then totally lost? Apparently, for no trace of it could be seen by the unaided eye. But fortunately the ink had left a colorless but fluorescent dye within the parchment, and when photographs are taken under ultraviolet, the film will often disclose the original as well as the later writing." The following is an obituary that appeared in the Corporate Research and Development Post, which was dated December 19, 197312. Although the obituary states that Gorton Fonda passed away in Rochester, the actual location was in Buffalo, New York17. The death date was December 16, 197317. (Note - unfortunately the image of this obituary is not available at the present time).

The writer is most grateful to Chris Hunter, Director of Archives and Collections, Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planatarium, Schenectady, New York, for copies of the photograph and the obituary. Dr. John M. Anderson provided biographical information from his files. Information conveyed to me by Mr. Amedeo Qualich and Mrs. Carolyn (née; Fonda) Qualich, is very much appreciated.

  1. "Über; die Einwirkung von Kohlenoxyd auf haugen", G. Braunsche Hofbuchdruckerei, Karlsruhe, Germany, 1910, 85 pages (doctoral thesis, Technische Hochschule Karlsruhe).
  2. "The Hydrolysis of Dichloro and Hexa-Aquo Chromic Chlorides," Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.43, 1921, pp.1154-1178 (with Arthur B. Lamb).
  3. "Crystal Growth in Metals," General Electric Review, Vol.25, 1922, pp.305-315.
  4. "Evaporation Characteristics of Tungsten," Physical Review, Vol.21, 1923, pp.343-347.
  5. "Concentration of Argon from Air by Fractional Liquefaction," Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, Vol.17 No.7, 1925, pp.676-678 (with F. W. Reynolds and S. Robinson).
  6. "Evaporation of Tungsten Under Various Pressures of Argon," Physical Review, Vol.31, 1928, pp.260-266.
  7. "Burn-out of Incandescent Lamps," General Electric Review, Vol.32, 1929, pp.206-212.
  8. "The Cathode-Ray Tube in X-Ray Spectroscopy and Quantitative Analysis," Physical Review, Vol.37, 1931, p.328 (with George B. Collins).
  9. "Characteristics of Coiled Filaments in Incandescent Lamps," Journal of Optical Society of America, Vol.22, 1932, pp.223-228 (with A. A. Vernon).
  10. "The Diffusion of Thorium in Tungsten," Physics, Vol.4, 1933, pp.1-6 (with Andrew H. Young and Amy Walker).
  11. "Characteristics of the Sodium Lamp as Influenced by Vapor Pressure," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.24, 1934, pp.31-34.
  12. "Sodium Alloy Lamps," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.25, 1935, pp.412-416 .
  13. "The Fluorescence of Rhodamine," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.26, 1936, pp.316-322 .
  14. "The Fluorescence of Double Salts of Calcium Phosphate," Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.60, 1938, p.722 (with Julian Glasser).
  15. "The Use of Light in Chemistry," Chapter in Excursions in Science, Neil B. Reynolds and Ellis L. Manning, Whittlesey House, New York, Mc Graw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1939, pp.176-183.
  16. "Fluorescence and Phosphorescence," Chapter in Excursions in Science, Neil B. Reynolds and Ellis L. Manning, Whittlesey House, New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1939, pp.244-254.
  17. "Characteristics of Silicate Phosphors," Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol.43, 1939, pp.561-577.
  18. "Phosphorescence of Zinc Silicate Phosphors," Journal of Applied Physics, Vol.10, 1939, pp.408-420.
  19. "The Preparation of Fluorescent Calcite," Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol.44, 1940, pp.435-439.
  20. "The Yellow and Red Zinc Silicate Phosphors," Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol.44, 1940, pp.851-861.
  21. "Color Effects Observable From Fluorescent Lamps," Science, Vol.91, 1940, p.476.
  22. "The Constitution of Zinc Beryllium Silicate Phosphors," Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol.45, 1941, pp.282-288.
  23. "Exaggerated Phosphorescence of Zinc Silicate Phosphors," Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol.46, 1942, pp.878-885 (with H. C. Froelich).
  24. "The Fluorescence of Phosphors in the Rare Gases," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.32, 1942, pp.156-159 (with Hans Huthsteiner).
  25. "The Magnesium Tungstate Phosphor," Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol.48, 1944, pp.303-307.
  26. "Factors Affecting Phosphorescence Decay of the Zinc Sulfide Phosphors," Transactions of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.87, 1945, pp.339-353.
  27. "Preparation and Characteristics of Zinc Sulfide Phosphors Sensitive to Infra-Red," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.36, 1946, pp.382-389.
  28. "Optical Properties of Zinc Fluoride Phosphors," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.38, 1948, pp.1007-1014 (with Frank J. Studer).
  29. "The Constitution and Structure of Phosphors," Preparation and Characteristics of Solid Luminescent Materials, Gorton R. Fonda and Frederick Seitz, Editors, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1948, pp.69-86.
  30. "Multiple Bands in the Fluorescence Spectra of Singly Activated Phosphors," Preparation and Characteristics of Solid Luminescent Materials, Gorton R. Fonda and Frederick Seitz, Editors, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1948, pp.385-398 (with Herman C. Froelich).
  31. "The Significance of X-ray Diffraction Patterns of Phosphors," Contributed section in Fluorescent and Other Gaseous Discharge Lamps, William E. Forsythe and Elliot Q. Adams, Murray Hill Books, Inc., New York, 1948, pp.124-133.
  32. "Optical Properties of Calcium Silicate Phosphors," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.39, 1949, pp.655-660, (with Frank J. Studer).
  33. "The Constitution of Zinc Beryllium Silicate Phosphors and Its Effect on Their Luminous Properties," Transactions of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.95, 1949, pp.304-315.
  34. "Dependence of Emission Spectra of Phosphors Upon Activator Concentration and Temperature," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.40, 1950, pp.347-352.
  35. "Review of Articles on Luminescence for 1949," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.97, 1950, pp.3C-7C.
  36. "Review of Articles on Luminescence for 1950," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.98, 1951, pp.35C-38C.
  37. "The Zinc Silicate Phosphors Fluorescing in the Yellow and Red," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.99, 1952, pp.140-143 (with H. G. Pfeiffer).
  38. "Optical Properties of Calcium Silicate Phosphors," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.42, 1952, p.360 (with Frank J. Studer).
  39. "Multiple Emission Bands in Zinc Cadmium Sulfide Phosphors," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.42, 1952, pp.917-922, (with Edith B. Fehr, A. I. Friedman, and F. J. Studer).
  40. "Review of Articles on Luminescence for 1951-1952," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.100, 1953, pp.155C-158C.
  41. "Review of Articles on Luminescence for 1953-1954," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.102, 1955, pp.129C-133C.
  42. "Energy Transfers in the Calcium Halophosphate Phosphors," British Journal of Applied Physics, Vol.6, 1955, Supplement No.4, pp.S69-S72. This was a paper presented at a symposium held by the Electronics Group of the Institute of Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, England, 7-10 April 1954.
  43. "Two Arsenate Phosphors and the Significance of Their Emission," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.103, 1956, pp.400-403.
  44. "Review of Articles on Luminescence for 1955-1956," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.104, 1957, pp.524-530.
  45. "Influence of Activator Environment on the Spectral Emission of Phosphors," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol.47, 1957, pp.877-880.

  1. US 1,496,457 - Jun 03 1924 - Filament and Like Bodies
  2. US 1,527,639 - Feb 24 1925 - Apparatus and Process for Fractionating Air
  3. US 1,565,724 - Dec 15 1925 - Filament and Method of Manufacture Therefore
  4. US 1,566,848 - Dec 22 1925 - Incandescent Lamp
  5. US 1,664,205 - Mar 27 1926 - Process of and Apparatus for Isolating Argon
  6. US 1,594,057 - Jul 27 1926 - Electric Incandescent Device
  7. US 1,623,784 - Apr 05 1927 - Incandescent Filament
  8. US 1,632,647 - Jun 14 1927
  9. US 1,648,679 - Nov 08 1927 - Incandescent Lamp
  10. US 1,658,712 - Feb 07 1928 - Zirconium Alloy
  11. US 1,721,383 - Jul 16 1929 - Metal Composition
  12. US 1,721,384 - Jul 16 1929 - Electric Lamp
  13. US 2,025,585 - Dec 24 1935 - Method of Operating Vapor Electric Lamps (with Andrew H. Young)
  14. US 2,069,407 - Feb 02 1937 - Thermionic Cathode and Process of Activation
  15. US 2,141,905 - Dec 27 1938 - Fluorescent Lamp and Fluorescent Material Therefor (with Ralph P. Johnson)
  16. US 2,149,993 - Mar 07 1939 - Composition Containing a Rhodamine Derivative
  17. US 2,177,701 - Oct 31 1939 - Fluorescent Screen
  18. US 2,184,274 - Dec 26 1939 - Fluorescent Materials
  19. US 2,247,192 - Jun 24 1941 - Method of Preparing Fluorescent Material
  20. US 2,252,500 - Aug 12 1941 - Method of Preparing Fluorescent Materials
  21. US 2,398,629 - Apr 16 1946 - Luminescent Material
  22. US 2,416,574 - Feb 25 1947 - Discrimitive Alkali Halide Screen
  23. US 2,423,830 - Jul 15 1947 - Cathode-Ray Screen Having Contrasting Colors and Unlike Rates of Decay of Luminescence
  24. US 2,435,435 - Feb 03 1948 - Cathode-Ray Screen
  25. US 2,435,436 - Feb 03 1948 - Cathode-Ray Tube Screen
  26. US 2,447,322 - Aug 17 1948 - Infrared-Responsive Phosphors
  27. US 2,447,851 - Aug 24 1948 - Luminescent Screen Indicating Changes in Image Formation
  28. US 2,504,674 - Apr 18 1950 - Luminescent Material
  29. US 2,545,200 - Mar 03 1951 - Method of Preparing Skiatronic Screens
  30. US 2,592,261 - Apr 08 1952 - Halophosphate Phosphors
  31. US 2,605,227 - Jul 07 1952 - Cadmium Phosphate Phosphors
  32. US 2,727,863 - Dec 20 1955 - Method of Preparation of Thallium Activated Potassium Iodide
  33. In addition to the above U.S. patents, Dr. Fonda also held 1 Finnish, 1 German and 29 Canadian patents15.

References & Bibliography
  1. "Chapman-Fonda", New York Times, Jun 10 1931, p.28 col.2.
  2. "Miss Alice Chapman Names Attendants - Bridgeport (Conn.) Girl Will Marry Gorton Fonda of Schenectady on Oct. 3", New York Times, Sep 6 1931, p.N5 col.8.
  3. New York Times, Sep 23 1931, p.20 col.3.
  4. "Excursions in Science", Neil B. Reynolds & Ellis L. Manning, Whittlesey House, New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1939.
  5. "Fluorescent and Other Gaseous Discharge Lamps", William E. Forsythe & Elliot Q. Adams, Murray Hill Books Inc., New York, 1948.
  6. "Dr. Gorton R(osa) Fonda", American Men of Science - A Biographical Directory, The Science Press, Lancaster PA, 1949, p.801.
  7. "Preparation and Characteristics of Solid Luminescent Materials", Gorton R. Fonda & Frederick Seitz (Editors), p.459, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1948. A review of this book can be found in Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol.53, 1949, p.594.
  8. "Dr. Fonda Retires From G.E.", New York Times, Jan 4 1950, p.84.
  9. "Review of Articles on Luminescence for 1949", Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.97, 1950, p.3C.
  10. "Lamps for a Brighter America - A History of the General Electric Lamp Business", Paul W. Keating, 1954, pg.196.
  11. "Langmuir, The Man and the Scientist", Albert Rosenfeld, The Collected Works of Irving Langmuir, Vol12, Pergamon Press, New York, 1962, pp.97-99.
  12. "Corporate Research and Development Post", Schenectady, New York, December 19, 1973.
  13. Social Security Death Index. Insert the names Gorton and Fonda, but do not enter the middle initial.
  14. "The General Electric Story 1876-1986, A Photohistory", Hall of History Publications, Schenectady, New York, 1989, p.2-56.
  15. European Patent Office
  16. http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=amfonda&id=ind01999.. To go to the general Fonda site click on: http://www.fonda.org/notables.htm Private communication from Dr. John M. Anderson.
  17. Private communication from Amedeo Qualich.