Robert L. Bowman invented the practical spectrophotofluorometer
(SPF). Born in New York City in 1916, Bowman tinkered
with crystal radio sets, cameras, spare parts, and
chemicals as a youth. He received his M.D. degree
from the New York University College of Medicine
in 1942 and went on to serve in the U.S. Army Medical
Corps during World War II. After the war he returned
to New York to work at Goldwater Memorial Hospital.
James Shannon of Goldwater was named the head
of the new National Heart Institute (NHI), Bowman-newly
discharged from the Army-joined him and moved
on to the Laboratory of Technical Development
at the National Heart Institute. There he worked
with Drs. Brodie, Berliner, Udenfriend, and others
to develop the SPF.