The McCrone Group Timeline

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1950 - 1960 - 1970 - 1980 - 1990 - 2000 - 2010

1950s

1956

McCrone Associates Founded
Dr. Walter C. McCrone announces the founding of Walter C. McCrone Associates, Inc., a highly specialized microscopy consulting firm. It is the world’s first analytical service laboratory with a cleanroom to process and handle client samples.

1960s

1960

Teaching Begins
McCrone Scientists develop and teach Light Microscopy courses in the United States. The first courses taught in England begin in 1966.

New Particle Handling Techniques Developed
Advanced particle handling techniques are pioneered in McCrone Associates’ Class 100 cleanroom using tungsten needles and collodion, these techniques later become industry standards.

1962

Capabilities Expanded with Electron Microscope
McCrone Associates acquires one of the nation’s first RCA Scientific Instruments, the EMU-4 transmission electron microscope with a double condenser lens for high resolution electron microscopy.

Microscopy Equipment & Service Sales Group Launched
McCrone Accessories & Components, now McCrone Microscopes & Accessories, is launched to serve as a comprehensive source of supplies, tools, and instruments to meet increasing worldwide demand for microscopy products.

1964

McCrone Expands into Europe
McCrone Research Associates, Ltd. established in London, England to provide analytical services, and within a few years, teaching and instrument sales. MRA later becomes McCrone Scientific Ltd.

1967

McCrone Scientists Develop Automated Electron Microprobe
McCrone Associates’ scientists pioneer ground-breaking development of one of the first automated electron microprobes for analysis of large numbers of small particles, ahead of electron automation design by instrument manufacturers. In 1969, McCrone Associates wins IR-100, Industrial Research’s top 100 products of the year, Award for its invention. Patent granted in 1969.

1970s

1972

Growth Prompts Facility Relocation and Expansion
Demand for microscopy services and instrument sales continues to increase requiring relocation to an expanded custom-designed 10,000 sq. ft. facility at 2820 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

McCrone is the First in Nation with a Molecular Optical Laser
Installation of the nation’s first Molecular Optical Laser Examiner (MOLE – Laser Raman Microprobe) takes place at McCrone’s facility.

1973

McCrone Recognized Again by IR-100 Award Program
McCrone Associates’ Scientists receive their second IR-100 Award in recognition of its innovative development of a Vacuum X-Ray Powder Diffraction Camera System. The system was 500-1000 times more sensitive than existing techniques at the time.

1975

McCrone Associates Names New President
Donald A. Brooks, Executive Vice President, is named President & CEO of McCrone Associates, Inc.

1976

Independent Environmental Firm Established
McCrone Environmental Services, Inc. established to provide services in the asbestos and environmental auditing areas. The new firm incorporates McCrone Associates’ Asbestos Consulting & Testing Division.

McCrone Leads Analytical Methods for Asbestos Identification
Integrated methods for asbestos identification are developed by McCrone using dispersion staining, polarized light microscopy, and TEM methodologies. These same techniques are still used today by others in the asbestos consulting area.

1979

McCrone Adds Forensic Science Capabilities
Automated gunshot residue analysis (GSR) using an SEM/EDS system is added to McCrone Associates’ vast array of analytical services. McCrone Associates leads the way for automated GSR evidence to be accepted as an approved methodology in court testimony.

1980s

1984

McCrone Leads Development of FTIR
Two years before commercially available equipment hits the market, McCrone Associates adds an IR-microscope to an FTIR system and performs the first micro-FTIR analyses using advanced small sample techniques.

1985

World’s First Riber SIMS/ESCA/AUGER installed at McCrone Associates
The newly developed multi-technique instrument combining three distinct analytical techniques is installed at McCrone Associates and provides ultra-high vacuum combined surface analysis. This is one of two instruments ever made.

1986

New Group Established
The McCrone Group, Inc. is established to include the analytical services of McCrone Associates, Inc., McCrone Environmental Services, Inc., and McCrone Accessories & Components (now McCrone Microscopes & Accessories).

1987

The McCrone Group Moves to Westmont
Business growth stimulates the relocation of the McCrone Group to a newly built and custom designed 26,000 square-foot facility in Westmont, IL. This facility serves as their new corporate headquarters.

Illinois High-Tech Entrepreneur Award Presented to The McCrone Group’s CEO
Donald A. Brooks, President and CEO, receives Illinois High-tech Entrepreneur Award in recognition of his contributions to the high technology community in Illinois.

1990s

1992

McCrone Associates Implements Pharmaceutical Industry-Compliant Quality Control Practices
Spurred by pharmaceutical clients’ needs for FDA compliant Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), McCrone Associates develops and adopts a comprehensive industry-standard Quality Laboratory Practices Program.

1997-1999

McCrone Associates Increases Analytical Capabilities
To service its clients in industry and government, McCrone Associates expands its analyses capabilities with the addition of the Hewlett Packard GC/Mass Spectrometer, the Renishaw System 1000 Raman Microscope, and the Quantum 2000 Scanning ESCA Microprobe (XPS).

1998

Class 100 Cleanroom Expanded to 1,500 Square-Feet
McCrone expands its Class 100 Cleanroom Facility to meet growing demands of its expanding client base.

2000s

2000

McCrone Microscopes & Accessories Extends Product Line
The addition of sophisticated video cameras and image analysis/archival systems combined with a comprehensive range of accessories expands the McCrone Microscopes & Accessories product line to over 1000 items.

2000-2002

McCrone Associates Upgrades Capabilities with New Analytical Instrumentation
To maintain its position at the forefront of technology and enhance its materials analyses capabilities, McCrone Associates updates and adds new analytical equipment; including a GC/TEA Gas Chromatograph, two Electron Probe Microprobes and two Nicolet Continuum IR Microscopes.

2003

The McCrone Group Publishes Online Journal
Industry and government growth in the need for materials analysis prompts the development of the ModernMicroscopy.com journal providing peer-reviewed content and leading articles on microscopic techniques from McCrone Associates scientists and industry peers.

2004

The McCrone Group Establishes the College of Microscopy
The McCrone Group formalizes its teaching and educational services by establishing the College of Microscopy. Regular course offerings in Light Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy, Raman Spectroscopy, and Advanced FTIR are taught by its own leading scientists.

The McCrone Group Develops a New Online Atlas
Innovative development of the new online McCrone Atlas of Microscopic Particles begins with a pilot program and beta testing. The new online Atlas provides a database for particle identification and characterization using comprehensive methodologies. A minimum of 200 reference particles will be added to the database each year.

World renowned Microscopy Expert Returns to The McCrone Group
John Gustav Delly returns from retirement to The McCrone Group as scientific advisor for the new online Atlas and ModernMicroscopy.com. He also serves as an instructor and advisor for the College of Microscopy.

McCrone Microscopes & Accessories Responds to Clients’ Sophisticated Microscopy Needs with New Service & Support Programs
McCrone Microscopes & Accessories significantly expands client services to include a comprehensive array of software and hardware installation, the design of custom microscopy systems, specialty glove box systems, on-site training programs, and microscope calibration and repair.

Nanoanalyses Continue with Addition of Industry-Leading Instrumentation
McCrone Associates’ capabilities at the nanometer and micrometer level expand to aid product and raw material manufacturers in the development and production of electronic devices, the understanding of thin films and corrosion mechanisms, and geochemistry and planetary research (solar dust and lunar research) with the addition of the TRITON Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer, The JEOL JEM-3010 Analytical Electron Microscope, and the JEOL JSM-6460LV SEM/EDS with an attached Raman Spectrometer to analytical laboratories.

2005

The McCrone Group Breaks Ground for the Construction of New Addition
To meet the increasing demands for microscopy training, the McCrone Group breaks ground for a new 40,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility to house the College of Microscopy.

College of Microscopy Courses Approved by IACET
The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) grants approval to the College of Microscopy to award Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to students who successfully complete any of the College’s courses.

Official Launch of the McCrone Atlas of Microscopic Particles
After beta testing of the new online Atlas by scientists across the country, the world’s first online Atlas of Microscopic Particles debuted with over 100 particles in its database. By the end of 2006 an additional 900+ particles will be added to the database at www.mccroneatlas.com.

2006

McCrone Associates Celebrates 50 Years of Modern Microscopy
McCrone Associates proudly celebrates its anniversary and Setting the Standard in modern microscopy for 50 years.

McCrone Associates’ Scientists Play a Key Role in the Authentication of the Gospel of Judas
A five-person McCrone team of scientists, working in conjunction with the National Geographic Society, specializing in forensic ink analysis, conducted polarized light microscopy (PLM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy tests on samples of the document’s ink. They established that the ink included a carbon ink (used throughout history) with a metal-tannate component for which there is some evidence of its use in third-century inks.

Completion of The McCrone Group's New Facility
The new 40,000 sq. ft. facility, home to the College of Microscopy and McCrone Microscopes & Accessories, is completed. The new addition includes a 140 seat auditorium, and is the only College of its kind anywhere in the world. The McCrone Group’s complex now totals 66,700 sq. ft. and is dedicated to the advancement of materials analysis and modern microscopy. The McCrone Group officially celebrates the grand opening of the College of Microscopy to potential students worldwide.

2008

The College of Microscopy Teaches its First Microscopy Camp for Secondary Education Teachers
Eleven Chicagoland teachers attend a camp designed to help high school and middle school science teachers understand and develop microscopy skills, lessons, and experiments to use in their classrooms. Microscopy Camp students learn time-honored and highly specialized microscopy methods that can successfully be applied to a wide variety of secondary school science lessons.

The College of Microscopy is awarded a National Institute of Justice Grant
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)grant enables the College of Microscopy (COM) to train 200 trace evidence examiners in 11 forensics courses over a two year period, starting in February 2009.

2009

College of Microscopy Partners with Concordia University Chicago
Starting Fall 2009, Concordia University Chicago partners with the College of Microscopy to offer students one of the nation’s first Applied Microscopy Bachelor of Science degree programs. Students who enroll in the program will complete three years of courses at Concordia in chemistry, biology, forensic science, instrumental analysis, calculus and physics. For their final two semesters, they will learn small particle identification and analysis techniques through hands-on training at the College of Microscopy.

JEOL USA and the College of Microscopy Team Up to Improve Microscopy Education
JEOL USA provides the College of Microscopy with new JSM-6610LV low vacuum high-performance Scanning Electron Microscopes for use in basic and advanced electron microscopy training. College and JEOL staff scientists also worked together to improve the College’s existing SEM courses and to develop specialized courses using the JSM-6610LV.

McCrone Associates’ Determine Gospel of Mark Inauthentic
Working with a team of authentication experts from the University of Chicago Divinity School, Joseph G. Barabe, Senior Research Microscopist at McCrone Associates, analyzes 24 samples of parchment, ink and paints from the “Archaic Mark” codex to determine its authenticity. After extensive analysis using polarized light microscopy (PLM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman Spectroscopy, Barabe determines the codex was created after 1874 using materials not available until the late 19th century.

2010s

2010

McCrone Microscopes & Accessories to Sell JEOL NeoScope
McCrone Microscopes & Accessories becomes a licensed distributor of the JEOL NeoScope benchtop scanning electron microscope. The NeoScope provides an extension of the optical microscope, giving small or divisional laboratories the ability to perform in-house SEM analysis.

College of Microscopy Changes Its Name to Hooke College of Applied Sciences
Named in honor of 17th century scientific pioneer Robert Hooke, the new name—Hooke College of Applied Sciences—more accurately reflects the school’s ever-expanding list of courses and programs that go beyond the realm of microscopy. Hooke College will offer a wide-range of hands-on, science-based, educational programs to adult professionals, college students and advanced placement high school students. The new programs will include courses relevant to current and future technical occupations in chemistry, biology and microscopy with an emphasis on materials analysis preparing those entering the job market.

McCrone Associates Celebrates a Milestone
Fifty-four years after it first opened its laboratory doors, McCrone Associates received its 50,000th project.

Hooke College of Applied Sciences Trains 200 Forensic Scientists
Hooke College’s Forensic Microscopy Training Delivery Program, funded by a grant from the National Institute of Justice, trained 200 forensic trace evidence examiners in 10 forensic evidence courses over two years.

2011

Hooke College of Applied Sciences is Awarded Its Second National Institute of Justice Grant
The Hooke College of Applied Sciences receives a second National Institute of Justice cooperative agreement to train 232 trace evidence examiners in 16 forensic science courses by the end of 2012.

The McCrone Group Appoints New Division Heads
David Wiley, formerly Vice President of McCrone Associates was promoted to the position of President. Kent Rhodes, formerly Vice President and Director of Analytical Services of McCrone Associates, was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President. Jeff McGinn, formerly Vice President of McCrone Microscopes & Accessories, was promoted to President.