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No. 76


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Memorable Manitobans: Frank Allen (1874-1965)

University professor of Physics.

Born in Meductic, New Brunswick, Allen graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 1895, receiving the Alumni Gold Medal. He received an MA in 1902 and a PhD in 1905 from Cornell University. In 1904 he was appointed first professor of physics and mineralogy at the University of Manitoba, where he headed the Physics Department until 1944. He was a member of the Polish Army in France Relief Commission in 1918. He published 300 scientific research papers and was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1944. The new physics building at the University of Manitoba was named for him in 1961.

Allen was one of the first six professors hired by the University of Manitoba, in 1904, the others being Gordon Bell (Bacteriology), Reginald Buller (Botany/Geology), Robert Rutherford Cochrane (Mathematics), Matthew Archibald Parker (Chemistry), and Swale Vincent (Physiology and Zoology). He and his colleagues founded the Scientific Club of Winnipeg, in 1905. In 1924 the University of Manitoba awarded him an honorary degree.

Father of Lillian Beatrice Allen and John F. Allen. He is commemorated by the Allen Building at the Fort Garry campus of the University of Manitoba.

His papers are at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections.

Sources:

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 6 May 2009

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