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Biographical entry Penfold, Arthur de Ramon (1890 - 1980)

4 August 1890
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
16 June 1980
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Museum director and Chemist


Arthur Penfold was Director of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney 1927-1955. Earlier he had been a research chemist with the eucalyptus oil distillers, Gillard Gordon Ltd 1915-1919 after which he became H.G. Smith's assistant at the Museum.

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Arthur de Ramon Penfold - Records, 1900 - 1956, MS 4515; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Powerhouse Museum

  • Arthur de Ramon Penfold - Records, 1897 - 1956, MA 128, MRS 225; Powerhouse Museum. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Penfold, A. R.; & Morrison, F. R., Guide to the extraction of Eucalyptus oil in the field, Bulletin 4, Technological Museum, Sydney, Thomas Henry Tennant, Government Printer, Sydney, NSW, 1945, 15 pp. Details
  • Penfold, Arthur de Ramon, Eucalyptus : the essence of Australia, Government Printer,, Sydney, 1930, 8 pp. Details
  • Penfold, Arthur de Ramon, and Willis, Jack Lehane, The eucalypts : botany, cultivation, chemistry, and utilization, Leonard Hill, London, 1961, 551 pp. Details
  • Penfold, Arthur de Ramon.; Morrison, Frank Richard, Commercial Eucalyptus oils, 5th edn, Department of Technical EducationMuseum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Department. Of Technical Education, Sydney, 1951, 35 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • McKern, H. H. G., 'Penfold, Arthur de Ramon (1890-1980), Chemist and Museum Director', in Geoffrey Serle (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 11, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1988, pp. 195-196. Also available at Details

Journal Articles

  • 'Obituaries. Arthur de Ramon Penfold', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 113, no. 3-4, 1980, pp. 100-101. Details
  • McKern, H. H. G., 'The Chemists of Australia: Arthur de Ramon Penfold, 1890-1980', Chemistry in Australia, vol. 48, 1981, pp. 327-330. Details
  • Pearson, Michael, 'The good oil: eucalyptus oil distilleries in Australia.', Australasian Historical Archaeology, vol. 11, 1993, pp. 99-107. Details
  • Penfold, A.R.; & Willis, J. L., 'The Essential Oil Industry of Australia', Economic Botany, vol. 8, no. 4, 1954, pp. 316-336. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Hall, Norman, Botanists of the Eucalypts: short biographies of people who have named eucalypts, whose names have been given to species or who have collected type material, CSIRO, Melbourne, 1978, 101 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J.