Recipient Profile

1969 Mother Xavier Award Recipient

1969 Mother Xavier Award Recipient

Florence earned an A.B. in Chemistry, the fourth alumna in the College's history to obtain this degree. At CSE she took a course in radioactivity, a new subject area at that time. She began her career as a high-school science teacher, but during World War I moved into the field of industrial chemistry.

She worked at the Radium Luminous Material Corporation, where she did general analytical work on uranium and conducted exacting electroscopic studies of radium for medical and commercial use. Florence later credited the lessons she learned in the radioactivity course she took at CSE with saving her from the fatal radiation poisoning that killed many of her co-workers.

After the War Florence went to Europe for a year of travel and study. Later she obtained a teaching job in Cuba, and traveled in South America. In 1924 Florence went to work f or Inetco, then the largest manufacturer of hair dyes. She soon became a major figure in the application of sound scientific principles in the field of cosmetology.

Leaving Inetco in 1928, she devoted herself to free-lance consulting work, including research, teaching, and technical writing. She wrote six books, most notably The Principles and Practices of Beauty Culture (1941), and more than 300 articles. She served as editor for two years of The Chemist, official journal of the American Institute of Chemists.

During World War II Florence returned to chemical work, taking a job with General Aniline and Film Corporation. Florence was a member of the Cosmetology Hall of Fame.

She received the Mother Xavier award in 1969. Florence died on October 2, 1988.