All in the Family – Samuel Becker

In telling you about the many engineers and scientists in my family, my father’s father, Samuel Lubkin, would be an obvious person to start with. But I think that one who was neither is a better choice.

My mother’s father, Samuel Becker, had wanted to be an engineer. He had to quit school early to help support the family. Still, he always loved gadgets and science.

My uncle and my mother discovered chemistry in the darkroom of Sam’s portrait studio. He grew up to become a chemical engineer. His kid sister went into nuclear physics before taking a job at Physics Today, where she reported on physics for 45 years.

I, too, learned to develop pictures. And watched Star Trek with him, which we both loved.

I’m proud to be in Sam Lubkin’s profession. But it was Sam Becker who planted the seed.

One thought on “All in the Family – Samuel Becker

  1. Did you know your grandfather was 14 when he had to quit school to help support the family? My father also was supposed to quit at 14. But he loved school so much (he was skipped 3 semesters in elementary school so that he was already in high school when he turned 14) that he begged his father to let him stay in school. They agreed to a compromise: he could continue in school if we went to work after school. He became a messenger boy. He succeeded in winning a full scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania where he went for about a year. Then he nearly died of double pneumonia (probably the 1918 influenza epidemic) and lost his scholarship.

So what do you think?