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James Hillier
James Hillier.jpg
Born (1915-08-22)August 22, 1915
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Died January 15, 2007(2007-01-15) (aged 91)
Princeton, New Jersey
Citizenship Canadian
Nationality Canadian
Institutions RCA
Alma mater University of Toronto
Known for Commercializing the electron microscope
President of the Electron Microscope Society of America (1945)
Notable awards IEEE Founders Medal (1981)
Not to be confused with the British actor James Hillier (actor).

James Hillier, OC (August 22, 1915 – January 15, 2007) was a Canadian-born scientist and inventor who designed and built, with Albert Prebus, the first successful high-resolution electron microscope in North America in 1938.[1]


Born in Brantford, Ontario, the son of James and Ethel (Cooke) Hillier, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics (1937), Master of Arts (1938), and a Ph.D (1941) from the University of Toronto, where, as a graduate student, he completed a prototype of the electron microscope that had been invented by Ernst Ruska. This transmission electron microscope was used as a prototype for later electron microscopes.

In 1941, he went to the United States of America and joined the Radio Corporation of America in Camden, New Jersey. He became General Manager, RCA Laboratories (1957); Vice President, RCA Laboratories (1958); Vice President, Research and Engineering (1968); Executive Vice President, Research and Engineering (1969); and Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist (1976). New technologies developed during his tenure include the system that became RCA SelectaVision. (Note: RCA Laboratories, located in Princeton, NJ, became independent of RCA as a result of the corporate take-over by General Electric in 1986 and became Sarnoff Corporation, a subsidiary of SRI International through 2011, when it was absorbed by SRI.) Hillier spent many years refining the electron microscope and marketing it to research laboratories and universities, receiving a total of 41 patents for devices and processes.

After retiring from RCA in 1977, Dr. Hillier advised on the role of technology in the Third World and promoted science education. Although he became a U.S. citizen in 1945, Hillier remained involved with the Brantford community throughout his lifetime. The James Hillier Foundation, established in 1993, awards annual scholarships to Brant County students pursuing education in science.

In 1936, he married Florence Marjory Bell, a union that lasted until Florence's death in 1992. They had two sons: James Robert Hillier and William Wynship Hillier.

On January 15, 2007, Hillier died in Princeton, New Jersey due to a stroke.



  1. ^ Newberry, Sterling (September 2007). "Obituary: James Hillier". Physics Today 60 (9): 87–88. Bibcode:2007PhT....60i..87N. doi:10.1063/1.2784698. 
  • Ball, Vicent and Bauslaugh, Cheryl (January 18, 2007). "James Hillier". Brantford Expositor, pp. A1-A2, A8, A10-A11.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hillier — Please support Wikipedia.
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1863 news items

Brantford Expositor

Brantford Expositor
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 14:33:45 -0700

The James Hillier Public School Choir is singing the praises of mentoring in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Grand Erie. The 44-member choir's rendition of I Thank You by The Tenors has earned them a finalist spot in the national Big ...

Gloucestershire Echo

Gloucestershire Echo
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 06:31:49 -0800

CHELTENHAM bounced back from their 81-12 hiding at Bristol Harlequins with a much-needed win in Western Counties North writes Derek Clifford. The game was moved to Newlands Park due to the Prince of Wales Stadium being unfit to play but the switch ...


Wed, 18 Mar 2015 09:07:15 -0700

The James Hillier Public School choir has made it to the finals of a national Big Brothers Big Sisters music video contest celebrating mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grand Erie announced "with great pride and appreciation" that the 44-student ...

Runway Girl Network

Runway Girl Network
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 11:58:47 -0700

In what might come across as a somewhat disingenuously worded email to Executive Club frequent flyers, the loyalty program's manager James Hillier confirms that, “for bookings made from 26 March 2015 British Airways will allocate a seat for all ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 03:26:31 -0800

Directed by James Hillier, The Armour focuses on events at the hotel taking place over three different time periods. In 2015, Hannah's character Poppy is on a comeback tour after a period of self-destruction and self-doubt as her manager Franky (Thomas ...

BBC News

BBC News
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 03:03:45 -0800

Isle of Man TT: James Hillier re-signs for Quattro Plant Kawasaki. Former TT winner James Hillier has re-signed for the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team for the 2015 International road races. Hillier, who claimed his first TT victory in the 2013 Supertwins ...

Belfast Newsletter

Belfast Newsletter
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 14:00:00 -0700

I think so, if everything is perfect on the day. I am away at number one, you've got [James] Hillier at two who has done 130mph laps; obviously there's Michael [Dunlop], then the grey haired miserable one, [Michael] Rutter, he's at four, then Bruce ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sun, 08 Mar 2015 07:23:56 -0700

Much as I enjoyed the journey from room to room, along with James Hillier's production and the performances of Sean Murray and Finty Williams as bereft imperialists and Hannah Spearritt as a flaky pop diva, it is the central play that stands out. It ...

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