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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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850 news items

Seeking Alpha (registration)
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:15:24 -0800

Great. Thank you, James Hillier. Good morning to all of you, and thank you for joining us here this morning. The Q1 results that we announced yesterday evening represent solid execution, as revenue was above the high end of our guidance range and EPS ...
Vancouver Desi
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 06:48:45 -0800

His most notable achievement was building the first electron microscope in North America with Cecil Hall, James Hillier and A.F. Prebus in the late 1930s. He died July 6, 1948. In 1879, “La Marseillaise” became the national anthem of France. In 1890 ...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:03:01 -0700

In 2001, Mark Gardiner gave up his career in advertising, and moved to the Isle of Man to live out his childhood dream of racing in the TT. After returning to the U.S., he wrote a memoir of that experience, Riding Man, which is now in development as a ...

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 ...

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 07:27:36 -0800

James Hillier Blount was born in an army hospital in Wiltshire to a family with a military history dating back to the 10th century. He changed his name to 'Blunt' to make it easier to spell when he began in the music industry. 'Blount' is pronounced ...

Plymouth Herald

Plymouth Herald
Thu, 08 Jan 2015 01:51:13 -0800

Before then, though, King will join his team and coach James Hillier for some warm weather training in Tenerife – paid for by himself – as the final bit of polish before the season starts. "I'm feeling good, strong and positive and, hopefully, I can ...

Gloucestershire Echo

Gloucestershire Echo
Thu, 15 Jan 2015 05:30:00 -0800

... young openside flanker Hanco Germishuys who has a dual South African/US qualification. Another back row Joe Haskayne is expected to overcome a groin problem and the team will again be captained Tom Lait in the absence of the injured James Hillier.


Wed, 07 Jan 2015 06:26:15 -0800

Leading road racing team Jackson Racing will be undertaking a Honda-supported campaign for the Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy, the other international road races and World Endurance Championship in 2015. Twenty-one time TT race ...

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