John C. Hebden Biography
by Robert J. Baptista, February 25, 2005
John Calder Hebden was born in Colgate, Wisconsin  December 22, 1862, the son of John and Mary Calder Hebden. He graduated from Mount Pleasant Academy,
Providence, Rhode Island and in 1885 from Brown University, where he received a A.B. degree.  

From 1885 to 1887, Hebden was employed as chemist and dyer by the National and Providence Worsted Mills and the Silver Spring Bleachery. For the next seven
years he was resident agent, technician and chemist for the William J. Matheson & Co. and the Cassella Color Company.

He married Lucie A. Mann on November 2, 1898 and they had one daughter, Ruth Dunham.  

In 1901-1903, he did post-graduate work at Brown University. During 1904-1909, he was a chemist for A. Klipstein & Co.  He became vice-president of F.E. Atteaux &
Co. in 1909, and then joined the Franklin Process Company.  At this company, Hebden was vice president and general manager during 1910-1913.  Working with
Frederick Daniels, he co-invented the
"Franklin Process", which involved dyeing yarns in package form, under pressure in a closed kier, in a highly concentrated dye

Hebden was named vice president and general manager of the
Federal Dyestuff and Chemical Corporation, Kingsport,
Tennessee, in 1915.  The company experienced financial problems and Hebden left in 1917.  He then served as president and general manager of the Dyeing
Processes Corporation and later was vice president of the Hebden Sugar Process Corporation. He also practiced as a consulting chemist and chemical engineer.  

After his first wife died, he married Gertrude S. Beard on October 8, 1919.

Hebden , a Director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers 1914-1916, was considered  an expert in explosives.
He was consulted about the type of bomb that anarchists exploded on Wall St. September 16, 1920, which caused 35 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Hebden
concluded that the bomb contained 100-200 pounds of a mixture of TNT and picric acid.

He was a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society of the Chemical Industry, the Society of American
Military Engineers, the Societe de la Chimie Industrie of France, the Chemists' Club of New York and the University Club of Providence.

Hebden's home was at 807 Ridge Boulevard, Brooklyn, and his office at 53 East Forty-first Street, Manhattan. He died on June 3, 1929 after an illness of six weeks.


1) "John C. Hebden Dies in Providence", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 18, No. 10, June 10, 1929, p. 399
2) Who Was Who in America, Vol. I, 1897-1942, Marquis Who's Who Inc., Chicago, p. 544
John C. Hebden Biography