The following information was supplied by Terry Carpenter:
Paul Burke Jacobs, whose only identified painting is a landscape scene in oil on canvas panel, was born 12 Jun 1889 in York, Pennsylvania. He was married c. 1913 to Edith, who was born c. 1890 in Pennsylvania. They had two daughters: Mary Edith Jacobs born c. 1914 in West Virginia, and Lois Marguerite Jacobs born c. 1918 in Pennsylvania.
He was a chemical engineer and a pioneering advocate of recycling farm products to produce energy. During World War I, he was plant superintendent of the Norwich Chemical Company, Smethport, Pennsylvania, making acetone for the British Government. From 1919 to 1927 he was superintendent of Seaboard Chemical Company, making industrial methyl and ethyl alcohol and acetic acid. He then joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where from 1936 to 1938 he was director of the survey on power alcohol [The Bismarck Tribune, Friday, March 24, 1944, p. 2]. During his career with the Department of Agriculture, he was assigned to the Agricultural By-Products Laboratory, Bureau of Chemistry and Soils, in Ames, Iowa, and in 1938 he was with the Industrial Farm Products Research Division, Bureau of Chemistry and Soils, in Washington, D.C. In 1944, as Chief of the Fermentation Fuels Technology Section of the Northern Regional Research Laboratory in Peoria, Ill., he was described as "the outstanding authority on 'power alcohol.'" He authored several publications in his area of expertise. In retirement, he turned his talents to oil painting. In 1961, at the age of 71, he painted a landscape of a town scene on the eastern shore of Maryland entitled "Eastern Shore." He died at the age of 91 on March 6, 1981 in San Diego, California.