Photo of David Pall

David Pall

  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation
  • Aerospace

For patenting and commercializing over 100 filtration and other fluid clarification products which have contributed significantly to society in safety of flight, upgrading of industrial products and processes and improved safety of blood transfusions; and for building Pall Corporation into a global company with 60 percent of sales outside the United States, primarily in Europe and Japan.

In the boom years after World War II David Pall had but one product to market: Essentially, porous stainless steel that would provide the world with filter material far more effective than anything that had come before it.

And it would spawn a business, Pall Corp. that would become the world’s leader in filtration devices and a billion-dollar company.

Pall’s metallic filter would be followed with a host of other products, including a filter that would become the state-of-the-art technology used in the medical field for filtering blood to make transfusions safer.

Pall, who was born in Ontario to Russian immigrant parents and went on to gain a doctorate in physical chemistry from McGill University in Montreal, joined the famed Manhattan Project as a research chemist during World War II. After the war he worked tirelessly in his garage to perfect his new filter, and with $3,000 from a friend, Bram Appel, started Micro Metallic Corp. (the company was renamed Pall Corp. in 1957) to manufacture the product.

The early years were difficult. Pall’s new filter was hardly an overnight success. But he persevered and the company in time would flourish.

Pall’s work was ground breaking. Pall and the company that bears his name became important players in numerous industries, including aerospace, medicine and energy.

His work in developing filters for blood transfusions came after the death of his wife in 1959 of aplastic anemia, a blood disease that required numerous transfusions.

Pall, who died in 2004, held 181 patents and was posthumously recognized by the National Inventors Hall of Fame as one of the world’s most important technology innovators. He received the National Medal of Technology in 1990.

By Robert Warren