Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979), demonstrating equipment in lab, 1938, Smithsonian Institution Archives, In 1938, when this publicity photograph was taken, physicist Katherine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979) worked at General Electric Research Laboratories, where she did important research in surface chemistry and thin films. She received the American Chemical Society's Garvan Medal in 1951..