The American Chemical Society designated the separation of rare earth elements by Charles James a
National Historic Chemical Landmark at the University of New Hampshire on October 29, 1999. The plaque
commemorating the event reads:
Beginning in 1906, in a laboratory in Conant Hall, Charles James (1880-1928) devised novel
fractional crystallization techniques for separating rare earth elements, which were widely adopted
by other chemists. James used his method to separate large amounts of ytterbium, hitherto considered to
be a single element, into two elements now known as ytterbium and lutetium. When the simultaneous isolation
of lutetium was published in 1907 by Georges Urbain, James made no public claim for his own pioneering work.
Despite his retiring nature, James was internationally recognized as an expert in rare earth chemistry. His
highly purified rare earth specimens were in demand by research laboratories throughout the world.
Designed by MSK Partners, Hunt Valley, Maryland.