Katharine B. Blodgett

The advancement of the incandescent lamp was due to the efforts of numerous persons, many of whom are little noted, or not noted at all, in the annals of the technical literature. One such person is worthy of mention as she also achieved success in other areas quite apart from the incandescent lamp. Her name was Katharine B. Blodgett (1898-1979).

Katharine Blodgett was, perhaps, the most celebrated of the women scientists who worked at the General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady, New York. While Mary Andrews, another scientist, was closely associated with Dr. Saul Dushman, of kenotron, pliotron and vacuum technology fame, Katharine Blodgett was associated with Dr. Irving Langmuir, 1932 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. Besides being the first woman scientist with a doctorate at the GE laboratory, Dr. Blodgett was also the first woman to earn a Ph. D. degree in Physics from Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. In 1924 she studied with Sir Ernest Rutherford at the Cavendish Laboratories. She was the first woman to receive the Photographic Society of America Award and the American Chemical Society honored her with the Francis P. Garvin Medal.

Katharine Burr Blodgett was born in Schenectady, New York on January 10, 1898. Schenectady was also to be the location of her final resting place. After attending Bryn Mawr and receiving a B.A. degree in physics, she earned an M.S. degree at the University of Chicago before her sojourn to Cambridge, England.

Quoting from Current Biography 1952, page 56:

"The invention of the 'color gauge,' which permits film measurement within one microinch, began with Dr. Blodgett's discovery in December 1933 that monomolecular layers of stearic acid, each about one ten-millionth of an inch in thickness, could be successively deposited on to a plate lowered into the solution. This enabled her to construct films in a series of progressive thicknesses, of which each reflects a characteristic color in white light. Her method of depositing sheets of barium stearate on plates enables a standardized color gauge to be constructed. 'Anyone who wishes to measure the thickness of a film which is only a few millionths of an inch thick,' she said, 'can compare the color of his film with the series of colors in the gauge. The step on the gauge that matches his film in color will give him a measure of its thickness.'

"...The General Electric Company announced in December 1938 that Katharine Blodgett had succeeded in developing a nonreflecting 'invisible' glass. Ordinary glass is visible because of the light rays which are reflected from its surface, and when a film is placed upon the glass, Dr. Blodgett discovered that a coating of forty-four layers of one-molecule-thick transparent liquid soap, of about four-millionths of an inch or one-fourth the average wave length of white light, made sheets of glass invisible. Since the reflection from the soap film neutralizes the reflection from the glass itself, the crests and troughs of the two sets of light waves cancel each other, thereby eliminating reflected light. At the same time, the soap varnish is a good conductor of light, permitting 99 per cent of the light striking it to pass through. The one aspect of Dr. Blodgett's work on nonreflecting glass requiring further research was the development of harder coatings which could not be wiped off. Some of the applications of the invention are seen in automobile windshields, shop windows, showcases, cameras, spectacles, telescopes, picture frames, and submarine periscopes...."

Dr. Blodgett passed away in her home at 18 North Church Street, Schenectady, NY at 7:00 A. M., October 12, 1979.

Published Articles by Katharine B. Blodgett
1) "The Relative Adsorption of Mixtures of Oxygen and Nitrogen in Cocoanut Shell Charcoal," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol 5, 1919, pp 289-295 (with Harvey B. Lemon).
2) "Studies of the Adsorption of Gases by Charcoal. II," Physical Review, Vol 14, Nov 1919, pp 394-402 (with Harvey B. Lemon).
3) "Currents Limited by Space Charge between Coaxial Cylinders," Physical Review, Vol 22, 1923, p 347 (with Irving Langmuir).
4) "Currents Limited by Space Charge between Concentric Spheres," Physical Review, Vol 23, p 49, 1924, (with Irving Langmuir).
5) "A Method of Measuring the Mean Free Path of Electrons in Ionized Mercury Vapour," The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine, Ser. 7, Vol 4, 1927, pp 165-193.
6) "Exponential Yield of Positive Ions in Argon," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol 15, 1929,
pp 230-234.
7) "Effect of End Losses on the Characteristics of Filaments of Tungsten and other Materials," Physical Review, Vol 35,
pp 478-503, 1930 (with Irving Langmuir and Saunders MacLane).
8) "A Film Which Adsorbs Atomic H and Does Not Adsorb H," Journal of American Chemical Society, Vol 54, 1932,
pp 3781-3782 (with Irving Langmuir).
9) "Accommodation Coefficient of Hydrogen: a Sensitive Detector of Surface Films," Physical Review, Vol 40, pp 78-104, 1932 (with Irving Langmuir).
10) "Irving Langmuir," Journal of Chemical Education, Vol 10, Jul 1933, pp 396-399.
11) "The Design of Tungsten Springs to Hold Tungsten Filaments Taut," Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol 5, p 321, 1934 (with Irving Langmuir).
12) "Monomolecular Films of Fatty Acids on Glass," Journal of American Chemical Society, Vol 56, Feb 1934, pg 495.
13) "Interference Colors in Oil Films on Water," Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol 24, No 12, Dec 1934, pp 313-315.
14) "Films Built by Depositing Successive Monomolecular Layers on a Solid Surface," Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol 57, Jun 1935, pp 1007-1022.
15) "A New Method of Investigating Monomolecular Films," Kolloid-Zeitschrift, Vol 73, 1935, pp 257-263
(with Irving Langmuir).
16) "Properties of Built-up Films of Barium Stearate," Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol 41, pp 975-984, 1937.
17) "Built-up Films of Barium Stearate and Their Optical Properties," Physical Review, Vol 51, pp 964-982, 1937 (with Irving Langmuir).
18) "A Method of Extinguishing the Reflection of Light From Glass," Science, New Series, Vol 89, No 2299, Jan 1939,
pp 60-61.
19) "Use of Interference to Extinguish Reflection of Light from Glass," Physical Review, Vol 55, Feb 15, 1939, pp 391-404.
20) "A Gauge that Measures Millionths of an Inch," Excursions in Science, Edited by Neil B. Reynolds and Ellis L. Manning, Whittlesey House, New York, 1939, pp 255-263.
21) "Fresnel Formulae Applied to the Phenomena of Nonreflecting Films," Physical Review, Vol 57, May 15, 1940, pp 921-24.
22) "A Silica Gauge for Measuring Thickness by Means of Interference Colors," Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol 12,
Jan 1941, pp 10-14.
23) "Electrically Conducting Glasses," Journal of American Ceramic Society, Vol 31, 1948, pp 89-100 (with R. L. Green).
24) "Surface Conductivity of Lead Silicate Glass after Hydrogen Treatment," Journal of American Ceramic Society, Vol 34, 1951, pp 14-27.
25) "Birefringent Stepguage," Science, New Series, Vol 115, No 2993, May 9, 1952, pp 515-516.
26) "Removal of Copper from Germanium," Journal of Applied Physics, Vol 26, 1955, pp 1520-1521.
27) "Cleanup of Atomic Hydrogen," Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol 29, No 1, Jul 1958, pp 39-43.
28) "Mechanism of Argon Cleanup in a Gas Discharge," Gaseous Electronics Conference, October 1958; [Abstract] see Bulletin of the American Physical Society, Series II, Vol 4, pg 111, 1959 (with T. A. Vanderslice).
29) "Mechanism of Inert Gas Cleanup in a Gaseous Discharge," Journal of Applied Physics, Vol 31, Issue 6, Jun 1960,
pp 1017-1023 (with T. A. Vanderslice).
30) "Electrical Cleanup in Ionization Gauges," Transactions of the National Vacuum Symposium, Vol 8, 1961, pp 400-405, (with T. A. Vanderslice).

U. S. Patents Issued to Katharine Blodgett
- Patent No. - Date - Description
1) 2,220,860 - Nov 05, 1940 - Film structure and method of preparation
2) 2,220,861 - Nov 05, 1940 - Reduction of surface reflection
3) 2,220,862 - Nov 05, 1940 - Low-reflectance glass
4) 2,493,745 - Jan 10, 1950 - Method of making electrical indicators of mechanical expansion (with Vincent J. Schaefer)
5) 2,587,282 - Feb 26, 1952 - Step gauge for measuring thickness of thin films
6) 2,589,983 - Mar 18, 1952 - Electrical indicator of mechanical expansion (with Vincent J. Schaefer)
7) 2,597,562 - May 20, 1952 - Electrically conducting layer
8) 2,636,832 - Apr 28, 1953 - Method of forming semiconducting layers on glass and article formed thereby

Canadian Patents Issued to Katharine Blodgett
- Patent No. - Date - Description
1) 404,963 - May 26, 1942 - Surface reflection reducing method
2) 405,126 - Jun 02, 1942 - Low refractance glass

Katharine Blodgett's Father
Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979) was the daughter of George Reddington Blodgett (1862-1897) and Katharine Buchanan (nee Burr) Blodgett (ca 1865 - ?). Miss Blodgett spent her entire working career with the General Electric Company at her father's final place of employment.

George R. Blodgett was a native of Bucksport, Maine1. His academic career started at Phillips's Academy and in 1880 he entered Yale University, graduating in 1884 with honors. He was appointed an examiner in the United States Patent Office. He studied law at the Columbian University in Washington and was admitted to the bar. He started in law practice in New York City in 1888 and in 1889 moved to Boston, where he entered the firm of Benton & Blodgett, being counsel for the Thomson-Houston Electric Company.

In 1892 the Thomson-Houston Company joined with the Edison General Electric Company to form the present-day General Electric Company. The following year, 1893, Blodgett joined General Electric and in 1894 he was made chief of the patent group in Schenectady.

George Blodgett's life ended on December 4, 1897; he had been shot by a burglar in his home the day before. At the time of his death the Blodgett's had a son, George (ca 1895-ca 1954). Katharine, the subject of this writing, was born just a few weeks after her father's death. George, the son, married Isabel Arnold (1899 -1975); apparently he disappeared while piloting a small plane over the jungles of Costa Rica in the early 1950s21.

Acknowledgement
The writer acknowledges and appreciates the use of the photograph of Dr. Blodgett shown above, which was scanned from Hall of History News, Vol 10, No 3, Spring 1992, Schenectady, NY. About 1960, while employed at the General Electric Research Laboratory, the writer had the opportunity to meet Dr. Blodgett and discuss stearate multilayers with her. Dr. Blodgett was most congenial and generous in her comments about this part of her past work.

References and Bibliography
1) "George R. Blodgett Shot by a Burglar," Electrical Review, Vol 31, Dec 8, 1897, pg 277.
2) "Katharine Burr Blodgett, Jan 10, 1898- , Research Physicist", Current Biography 1940, pp 90-91.
3) Edna Yost, "Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898- ), American Women of Science, Frederick A. Stokes Co., Philadelphia, 1943, pp 196-213.
4) "Katharine Burr Blodgett," Current Biography 1952, pp 55-57.
5) J. B. Bateman and E. J. Covington, "Molecular Tilt in Fatty Acid Multilayers," Journal of Colloid Science, Vol 16, 1961,
pp 531-548.
6) Norma Olin Ireland, "Katharine Burr Blodgett," Index to Women of the World from Ancient to Modern Times: A Supplement, 1963, pg 73.
7) J. B. Bateman, "Determination of Thickness and Refractive Index of Thin Films as an Approach to the Study of Biological Macromolecules," Ellipsometry in the Measurement of Surfaces and Thin Films, N. B. S. Misc. Publ. 256, Sep 15, 1964, pp 297-334.
8) Index to Women, N. O. Ireland, F. W. Faxon Co. Inc., Westwood, MA, 1970, pg 56.
9) D. den Engelsen, J. H. Th. Hengst and E. P. Honig, "An Automated Langmuir Trough for Building Monomolecular Layers," Philips Technical Review, Vol 36, No. 2, 1976, pp 44-46.
10) Public Information Release, GE Corporate Research and Development, Death of Katharine Burr Blodgett,
October 12, 1979, 4 pages.
11) Alfred E. Clark, "Dr. Katharine Burr Blodgett, 81, Developer of Nonreflecting Glass," New York Times, Oct 13, 1979.
12) "Katharine Burr Blodgett", Current Biography 1980, pg 450.
13) Obituary. Katharine Burr Blodgett. Who Was Who in America, Vol 7 (1977-1981), pg 57.
14) "Katharine B. Blodgett", On the Shoulders of Giants, 1924-1946-The General Electric Story-A Photohistory, Volume III, Hall of History, Schenectady, New York, 1989, page 53, 70.
15) Langmuir-Blodgett Films, Edited by Gareth Roberts, Plenum Press, New York, 1990.
16) George L. Gaines, Jr., "Monolayers of Polymers," Langmuir, Vol 7, 1991, pp 834-839.
17) "Women Scientists-Biographical Sketches and Their Contributions to the GE Lamp Business", E. J. Covington, Jan 1992.
18) K. Thomas Finley and Patricia J. Siegel, "Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979)", Women in Chemistry and Physics, A Biobibliographic Source, Edited by Louise S. Grinstein, Rose K. Rose, and Miriam H. Rafailovich, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1993, pp 65-71.
19) Abraham Ulman, "Langmuir-Blodgett Films", The Handbook of Surface Imaging and Visualization, Edited by
Arthur T. Hubbard, CRC Press, New York, 1995, pp 277-288.
20) Jill Holman, "Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979), Physicist", Notable Women in the Physical Sciences, A Biographical Dictionary, Edited by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1997,
pp 20-27.
21) Katharine Gebbie, "Katharine Blodgett," APS 2004 March Meeting. http://www.aps.org/educ/cswp/events.cfm
22) http://www.longislandgenealogy.com/maltby/fam00594.htm

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During the years 1957-1959 the writer served in the U.S. Army; after completion of Basic Training the next assignment was at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. At that time Ft. Detrick was a Biological Warfare Laboratory. The writer had the fortune to be assigned to a laboratory that was interested in studying thin films of protein molecules. These were studied optically after being deposited on Blodgett-Langmuir multilayers of stearates. Many substrates were built up and on December 19, 1958 a few of these slides were inserted into glass test tubes and taped off to protect them from dust and abrasion. These test tubes were opened on January 2, 2002 (43 years later) in order to take the photograph shown below. The chromium-plated glass slides, on which the multilayers are deposited, measure 25 mm x 75 mm.

From left to right, the number of barium-copper stearate double layers (49.50 per double layer) on the slides are:
At left: 19, 61, 105, 148, 191, 234.
Second from left: 18, 38, 61, 80, 105, 123, 148, 164, 191, 206, 234, 247.
Second from right: 61, 80.
At right: 35-55.
The least number of layers is toward the top of the slide in this view.

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The Murder of George R. Blodgett
The newspaper articles regarding the murder of Katharine Blodgett's father are given here verbatim from the various issues of The New York Times. The references are given at the end of this write-up.

Reference 1 - "Schenectady, Dec 3. - George R. Blodgett, counsel of the General Electric Company in patent cases and one of the best-known patent lawyers of the country, was shot, and it is thought mortally wounded, by a burglar early this morning. The shooting occurred at Mr. Blodgett's residence, at 11 Front Street, this city.

"Shortly before 3 o'clock this morning Mr. Blodgett was aroused by his wife, who said that some one had entered the house and had come into the sleeping apartment. Mr. Blodgett sprang out of bed and encountered a burglar, who began backing toward the door that opened into the lighted hall. The burglar ordered him to throw up his hands.

"A moment later Mr. Blodgett sank upon his knees. It is not known whether he did this to escape a threatened shot, or in jumping quickly forward in the direction of the burglar he tripped and fell into that position. But while he was in that position, with his head toward the burglar, the latter fired. The bullet passed over his head and entered his back to the right of his spine and took a course downward.

"In the excitement of the moment Mr. Blodgett did not realize that he had been wounded. He rose quickly and pursued the man down the front stairs, but the latter, who was several steps in advance of him, escaped through the front door. The wounded man collapsed a moment later, and on the arrival of assistance, was carried into the house. He is at present in a critical condition.

"The attending physicians found it impossible to locate the bullet by probing, but the X rays revealed it in the pelvic cavity. The physicians are fearful of an internal hemorrhage or acute peritonitis, and have little hope of Mr. Blodgett's recovery. The General Electric Company has offered a reward of $5,000 for the apprehension of the man who attempted to murder Mr. Blodgett, but thus far no trace of him has been discovered.

Two or Three in the Gang

"Mrs. Blodgett, the only witness of the shooting, said to-night that her husband did not fire, and that he had no weapon with him. An early report that several shots were exchanged between himself and the intruder is accounted for by the fact that Mrs. Blodgett, as soon as she could find a loaded revolver, threw open one of the windows and discharged it several times to arouse the neighbors.

"An investigation showed that there were two, and perhaps three, burglars in the gang. They had cut the telephone wire leading into the house before commencing operations. The men evidently had been in the house a considerable time, as they had searched several rooms.

"A pile of Mr. Blodgett's clothes had been placed in the front hall, and under them were his little daughter's (actually his son's) silver knife and fork. The men had gathered in another heap a quantity of much more valuable plunder. All that they managed to carry off were a number of silver spoons and an old-fashioned silver sugar bowl from the sideboard of the dining room, the latter having the maker's name marked in old style stamped letters and 'N. York' instead of New York, and a few small trinkets.

"The police in all directions have been notified of the crime and of the large reward."

Another Murderous Assault

"A member of the same gang that entered Mr. Blodgett's house is supposed to have committed a murderous assault about two hours earlier in the little hamlet of Town House, five miles from this city. The victim was John Cochrane, a farmer. Cochrane was in town yesterday afternoon with a load of poultry, butter, and eggs, and collected quite a large sum of money, and it is supposed that the burglars knew of this.

"Cochrane was awakened by two men in his room at 12:30 o'clock. He sprang up and grappled with one of the intruders. The second burglar hit Cochrane a terrific blow over the head with the butt of his revolver, knocking him down and rendering him unconscious. After assaulting Cochrane the burglars bound and gagged his aged wife and a young boy who lives with them. They then ransacked the house. The sum of money which Cochrane received yesterday was in the house, but the burglars could not find it. They secured a few dollars, however, a gold watch, and a few trinkets.

"Cochrane remained unconscious for a considerable time, and when he recovered he dragged himself to the house of the nearest neighbor and gave the alarm. A fruitless search was made for the burglars. Cochrane's condition is serious."

Mr. Blodgett's Career

"George R. Blodgett is a descendant of an old New England family, and was born in Bucksport, Me., in 1862. He was prepared for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., and entered Yale in 1880, being graduated with honors four years later.

"Soon after his graduation he was appointed an examiner in the United States Patent Office. While holding this place he studied law in the Columbian University, in Washington, and was admitted to the bar. He began practice in this city in 1888, and a year later moved to Boston, where he entered the firm of Benton & Blodgett, counsel for the Thomson-Houston Electric Company.

"In 1893 he became associated with the General Electric Company, and when a year later its headquarters were removed to Schenectady, Mr. Blodgett went there as the chief of the patent department of the company. He soon attained a position of great influence in the General Electric Company, while in his private practice he gained a National reputation by his conduct of the case of the Tannage Patent Company vs. Zahn, as a result of which control of a large portion of the tanning business of the country came into the hands of the owners of the Schultz patents. It has been said of Mr. Blodgett that no other lawyer in the country was his equal as an expert in electrical matters.

"F. P. Fish of Fish, Richardson & Storrow, counsel for the General Electric Company, speaking of Mr. Blodgett last night, said: 'He is one of the few men whose loss would be absolutely irreparable.'

"Mr. Blodgett was married six years ago, and has an infant son."

Reference 2 - "Schenectady, Dec. 4 - George R. Blodgett, who was shot by a burglar early yesterday morning, died this afternoon. The man who killed him is still at liberty.

"Yesterday afternoon Dr. Vanderveer, Dr. Willis G. McDonald and Dr. Richardson of Albany, and Drs. W. A. Pearson, Louis Faust, and William P. Faust of this city performed an operation on the wounded man. The physicians refused to make any statement at the time, but since Mr. Blodgett's death they have issued the following: 'We opened the abdominal cavity and traced the course of the ball. It had entered the back and gone forward and downward, striking the pelvis on the right side. The ball had deflected from the pelvic bone and perforated the intestines.' Mr. Blodgett's sufferings before his death were so intense that he was thrown into convulsions.

"The police late today started on a new clue from Hoffmans, a small village eight miles west of here. About 4 o'clock yesterday morning a party of three men made an attempt to enter the village grocery. They were frightened away by the barking of a dog. The print of a 1-1/4-inch carpenter's chisel was left on the jamb of the grocery door. It is thought these may have been the same men who committed the burglaries at Cochrane's and at the Blodgett house."

Reference 3 - "Schenectady, Dec 9 - The inquest in respect to the death of George R. Blodgett was begun this evening. A number of witnesses were examined, but no new light was thrown on the killing of Mr. Blodgett. Mr. Blodgett was counsel for the General Electric Company. He was shot by a burglar Dec. 3 and died the following day."

Reference 4 - "Saratoga, Dec. 14 - 'Buck' Davis, an ex-convict and a desparate burglar, is under arrest here. Burglar's tools, dynamite, a loaded revolver, and a mask were found on him. He drove here from Schuylerville at midnight with a 'pal' who escaped.

"Davis is believed to be the murderer of George R. Blodgett of the Edison Electric Company, in Schenectady. Detectives from that city are expected here to endeavor to identify Davis, who gave his name as 'Ed Brown'".

Reference 5 - "Schenectady, March 27. - Detective George S. Docherty, who has been working on the murder of George R. Blodgett ever since it occurred in this city on Dec. 3, believes that at last he has found the key to the mystery. Mr. Blodgett, who was the patent attorney for the General Electric Company, was shot by a burglar while defending his property, and died two days later. A reward of $5,000 offered by the General Electric Company brought a score of detectives to this city. They all worked in vain, however, for there apparently was not the slightest clue.

"All gave up the task except Docherty, and he believes now that when he had William, alias 'Buck' Davis arrested in Troy yesterday, he landed a participant in the crime. Davis is a notorious crook and burglar, and it is known that he was in Schenectady the day before the murder was committed. He was arrested on a bench warrant charging burglary and larceny on May 14, 1891. The warrant was dated March 8, 1898, and was signed by District Attorney White of Washington County. The crime was the blowing open of a safe at Greenwich. The real reason for his arrest, however, was that the evidence against him in the Blodgett murder case had become so strong that Docherty decided to have him placed in custody. As there was no indictment against Davis in Schenectady County, it was decided to arrest him on the Washington County charge.

"Docherty refuses to divulge what evidence he has against Davis, but says he is confident that he is one of the men concerned in the murder."

Reference 6 - Schenectady, N.Y. April 16. - Mr. and Mrs. John Cocklin, an aged couple living about eight miles from this city, in the town of Glenville, were brutally assaulted by two robbers on Dec. 3 last. They were placed on a red-hot stove and tortured in other ways. The night of this crime was the same as on which George R. Blodgett, the General Electric patent attorney, was murdered by burglars, and it has been generally believed that both acts were committed by the same persons.

"In Salem, Washington County, yesterday, Mr. and Mrs. Conklin positively identified 'Buck' Davis, the burglar, as the man who had tortured and robbed them. Careful arrangements were made in advance for a thorough test of identification. Davis and seven fellow-prosoners were lined up with their faces to the wall when Mr. and Mrs. Cocklin entered the room. Without hesitation they both picked out Davis as one of their assailants. It will be remembered that all of the robbers were masked while at the Cocklin house. A further test was made by having each man speak a few words in the hearing but out of sight of the Cocklins.

"All of the prisoners spoke without hesitation except Davis, who hesitated, and when he spoke his voice was recognized by both Mr. and Mrs. Cocklin. Detective Dougherty, who has been working on the case ever since Mr. Blodgett was murdered, says he is weaving a chain of evidence around Davis that will land him in the electric chair."

Reference 7 - Schenectady, May 26. - A special to The Daily Union from Salem, N. Y., this afternoon says: 'Buck" Davis, the notorious criminal, sentenced to Dannemora Prison yesterday for six years for jail breaking, and who is wanted in Schenectady for the alleged murder of George R. Blodgett, the chief patent attorney of the General Electric Company, committed suicide in the Salem jail this morning by hanging about 4:30. He made a rope out of bedclothes, and, tying it above the bed, fell back and strangled himself."

References
1) "George R. Blodgett Shot - Murderous Attack of a Burglar on the Famous Patent Lawyer of Schenectady - Not Expected to Recover - A Reward of $5,000 Offered by the General Electric Company for the Arrest of His Assailant - Assault on a Farmer," The New York Times, Dec 4, 1897, pg 1, col 3.
2) "George R. Blodgett Dead - Schenectady Burglary Victim Expires After Intense Suffering," The New York Times, Dec 5, 1897, pg 7, col 3.
3) "Inquest as to Mr. Blodgett's Death," The New York Times, Dec 10, 1897, pg 5, col 5.
4) "Perhaps Blodgett's Slayer," The New York Times, Dec 15, 1897, pg 2, col 4.
5) "For the Blodgett Murder - William Davis Arrested at Troy for Complicity in the Crime," The New York Times,
Mar 28, 1898, pg 7, col 2.
6) "Masked Robber Identified - Mr. and Mrs. Cocklin of Schenectady County Pick Out One of the Men Who Tortured Them," The New York Times, Apr 17, 1898, pg 7, col 2.
7) "Prisoner's Suicide at Schenectady," The New York Times, May 27, 1898, pg 7, col 5.