Lloyd Augustus Hall (June 20, 1894 – January 2, 1971) was an African American chemist who contributed to the science of food preservation. By the end of his career, Hall had amassed 59 United States patents, and a number of his inventions were also patented in other countries.Hall was born in Elgin, Illinois on June 20, 1894. Hall’s grandmother came to Illinois via the “Underground Railroad” at the age of sixteen. His grandfather came to Chicago in 1837 and was one of the founders of the Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church. He later became the church’s first pastor in 1841. Hall’s parents, Augustus and Isabel, were both high school graduates.Although Lloyd was born in Elgin, he moved to Aurora, Illinois. and was raised there by his parents. He later graduated in 1912 from East Side High School in Aurora. After graduating school he went on to study pharmaceutical chemistry at Northwestern University, earning a B.S. there and his master’s at the University of Chicago. It was at Northwestern that Hall met Carroll L. Griffith, who with his father, Enoch L. Griffith, would found Griffith Laboratories. The Griffith’s went on to hire Hall as their chief chemist.
After leaving university Hall was hired by the Western Electric Company but as the interview had been conducted over the telephone they did not know that he was black and refused to hire him. Hall then went to work as a chemist for the Department of Health in Chicago followed by a job as chief chemist with the John Morrell Company.
During World War I Hall served with the United States Ordnance Department where he was promoted to Chief Inspector of Powder and Explosives.Following the war Hall married Myrrhene Newsome and they later moved to Chicago so he could work for the Boyer Chemical Laboratory, again as a chief chemist. Following this Hall became President and Chemical director for Chemical Products Corporation’s consulting laboratory. Finally in 1925 Hall was offered a position with Griffith Laboratories where he was to remain for 34 years.