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Harry Ernest Jacob

portrait of Harry Jacob

Mr. Jacob was born in Columbus, Ohio, on October 30, 1896. He received a B.S. degree in 1918 from Ohio State University, and the following summer and autumn he spent with the National Geographic Society's survey party in making a survey of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Alaska.


During 1919-20 Mr. Jacob was a graduate assistant in Agriculture at the University of California and earned the M.S. degree in Plant Pathology. In January, 1921 he joined the College of Agriculture as Assistant in Cold Storage Investigations. At the end of that year he transferred to the Division of Viticulture, where he served until his death, March 12, 1949.


Professor Jacob gave much of his time and effort to teaching. He taught a general year course in grape production and a semester course in fruit handling, certification, and inspection. He was keenly interested in students and gave unsparingly of his time in advising them upon personal as well as educational matters. The good influence of his instruction has been extended broadly through the application of better practices and methods by former members of his classes and by those who came under his guidance.


He engaged in research with vigor and cooperative enthusiasm. Soon after joining the division he cooperated in research on the application of sulfur dioxide as an aid in prolonging the storage life of grapes. He then engaged in a succession of investigations on the effects of girdling and time of girdling on set, size of berry, and coloring of grapes and the nutritional changes involved; the relation of maturity of the grape to yield, composition, and quality of raisins; and rootstocks for grapes. He was equally as thorough in reporting his results as in carrying out the researches. He was sole or joint author of 70 Experiment Station publications and journal articles. California viticulture has benefited inestimably by his service.


Although resolute of purpose, Professor Jacob was admired by his colleagues for his wisdom and his willingness to share the burdens of divisional work. This same character entered into his capacity for doing things well. His lectures were well organized and clearly delivered and the research was pursued with meticulous care.