GAYLOR, VERNA FRANCES (23 Feb. 1925-18 Feb. 1993) was a pioneer and an acknowledged authority in the field of analytical chemistry and research, who held five patents and spent her 40-year career with BP Research at SOHIO.
Born in Charleston, West Virginia, Gaylor was raised in Nitro, W.Va. and graduated from Nitro High School (1942), Ohio University (B.S. chemistry, 1946), and CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY (M.S. chemistry, 1954).
Gaylor joined Standard Oil's research & development department in 1946 as an analytical chemist. She advanced to group supervisor of chemical analysis by 1971 and in 1979 she moved to the research side of her field. Gaylor retired as a senior chemist and researcher in 1987 and continued working as a consultant for several years.
Gaylor conducted some of the early, fundamental research of voltammetry with solid electrodes. One of her earliest contributions was the invention of the wax impregnated graphite electrode, which was used for over 30 years and pointed the way toward better materials for electrodes. She participated in the development of numerous methods used in various aspects of production, including polymers and electrochemistry.
A highlight of her career was spearheading a large-scale program that led to the successful commercialization of a plastic material known as Barex, used in food packaging.
Gaylor authored and co-authored numerous papers in the chemical analysis and electrochemical fields and made over 20 presentations at professional symposiums. In 1963 she presented a paper on crude oil assay at the World Petroleum Congress in Frankfurt, Germany. Gaylor never married, lived in PARMA, and was cremated.