Ralph Anthony Schaeferwas born in Grafton, Ohio on August 16, 1913. He received his A.B. degree in 1935, M.S. in 1936, and Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1941 all from Western Reserve University.
Dr. Schaefer joined Cleveland Graphite Bronze Co. and its allied enterprises as a research chemist in 1936. He became director of research from 1946 to 1952. In 1952, the Clevite Corp. was merged with Cleveland Graphite Bronze and other enterprises. After this consolidation, the corporation created a centralized research and development division with Dr. Schaefer as vice-president. In 1955, he was promoted to the position of technical advisor to the president.
Later in 1958, Dr Schaefer joined the Bunting Brass and Bronze Co. to initiate and administer an intensified research and development program and became Director of research and product development. He was well known for his research and development contributions in the sleeve bearing field. He received numerous patents and authored many papers in the general field of electrodeposition and metallurgy as applied to the sleeve bearing industry.
Dr. Schaefer joined The Electrochemical Society in 1939. He served as Chairman of the Electrodeposition Division and the Cleveland Section. He was elected Vice-President of the Society in 1957 and President in 1960.
Dr. Schaefer was President of the American Electroplater's Society, and a member of the American Chemical Society, American Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Engineers, American Society for Testing Materials, Sigma Xi, and many other Professional organizations.