With thousands of references to `Rietveld refinement' it is forgotten that the method did not suddenly appear in a flash of inspiration of a single person, but was the result of the work of three individuals working in the 1960s at the Reactor Centre Netherlands at Petten, Loopstra, van Laar and Rietveld. This paper outlines the origins of `profile refinement', as it was called at Petten, and also looks at why it took so long for the scientific community to recognize its importance. With the recent passing of Hugo Rietveld, the death of Bert Loopstra in 1998 and before other pioneers also disappear, it is important to set down a first-hand account. Around 1965 at the Reactor Centre Netherlands at Petten, Loopstra, van Laar and Rietveld developed `profile refinement'. Although Loopstra had the idea, van Laar worked it out mathematically and Rietveld wrote the computer program, the essential contributions of the first two are forgotten when using `Rietveld refinement'.
Chemistry and Pharmacology