Zvi Enrico Jolles Pioneer in Applied Chemistry

  • Irene Bainbridge Alderford House – Sible Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3HX


When I brought to Florence the death mask of Prof. Angelo Angeli, earlier this year, I was greeted most warmly but with some puzzlement as to how it came to be in my possession. I discovered that my father, a pupil of Angeli and later a rising figure in Florentine chemistry between 1924 and 1938, had been completely forgotten there after he was expelled from Italy to comply with the fascist Racial Laws of 1938. This biography aims to fill that gap. It was originally written by his son, Joshua Jolles, on the occasion of the dedication of a Meeting Room at the Casali Institute, Jerusalem in 2005, and has been revised in 2017 by his daughter, Irene Bainbridge, for Substantia. It is a story of diligence and adventure, tenacity against many odds, and finally the triumph of optimism over adversity, to be celebrated in Florence, his Alma Mater, with the establishment of the Fondo Jolles, for the preservation of many documents relating to his life and work.

Author Biography

Irene Bainbridge, Alderford House – Sible Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3HX

Irene Bainbridge revised and expanded the article originally written by Joshua Jolles, her brother. Born 1935 in Florence, she came to UK with the family in 1939 and studied at Bury Grammar School and then St Hilda's College, Oxford where she qualified MA., BM., Bch. in 1960. She retired from her rural dispensing medical practice in North Essex in 2000, but continued as Specialist in Reproductive Health in community clinics until 2014. Formerly Board member of the Dispensing Doctors Association, married Douglas Bainbridge, anthropologist, later Clinical Immunologist at the Royal London Hospital. They have three sons and nine grandchildren.

Joshua Jolles wrote the original article in 2005 for a dedication ceremony at the Casali Institute in Jerusalem. Born 1932 in Florence to Zvi and Nidda Jolles, he left Italy in 1939 with the family as refugees following the Racial Laws. He graduated in Chemistry at London University and emigrated to Israel in 1972, where he established and managed the Pilot Plant at the Casali Institute, and later a business recycling chemical waste throughout Israel. On return to UK he taught Science and Mathematics and served as a District Councillor until retiring in UK with his family.


How to Cite
Bainbridge, I. (2017). Zvi Enrico Jolles Pioneer in Applied Chemistry. Substantia, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.13128/Substantia-32
Historical Articles