Colonel John Battelle was an early Ohio industrialist with major interests in the iron and steel industry and subsidiary interest in other metals. His son, Gordon Battelle, developed a consuming interest in industrial research mainly as a result of trying to recover zinc from ores for which the usual roasting process did not work. When Gordon Battelle died in 1923, he left his residual estate to the founding of an institute ". . . for the purpose of education in connection with the encouragement of creative and research work and the making of discoveries and inventions . . ." When his mother, Annie Norton Battelle, died in 1925, she left the bulk of her estate to the institute her son had founded. Battelle Memorial Institute opened its doors for business in 1929.