Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution). Search this
2.66 Cubic feet (8 boxes)
circa 1900-circa 1975
J. Harry DuBois (1903-1986) was an industrial consultant in the field of petrochemicals and plastics. In 1927 at General Electric his studies resulted in extending the use of laminated plastics.
Scope and Contents:
This collection of trade catalogs, research reports, correspondence, photographs, and other historical material relating to the plastics industry was donated by J. Harry DuBois.
Included are trade catalogues of the General Bakelite Company, Bakelite Corporation, and competitors in the plastics industry in the 1920's and 1930's, including Dow Chemical and General Electric; material relating to the Boonton Rubber Company, including Richard W. Seabury's notebooks, 1911-1923; memoranda of 1916, 1918, 1923, and 1926 concerning the history of Boonton's early use of Bakelite for molded products; catalogues, photographs, and a blueprint of a 1897 hydraulic press from Charles Burroughs Company; research reports, 1925-1932, of Sigfreid Higgins, on mechanical development research at the Bakelite Corporation; reports on sales development research, 1941-1946, at the Bakelite Corporation; experimental notes, correspondence on possible patents and other materials concerning the use of Bakelite and rubber for printing plates; reports, notes, and and miscellaneous photographs on the history of the plastics industry; Zylonite trade catalogues, pre-1900; and Recto trademark patent and patent drawing.
The collection is arranged into six series.
Series 1: Bakelite Catalogs, 1910-1944
Series 2: Plastics Trade Catalogs, circa 1920-1953
Series 3: Boonton Rubber Co., 1911-1974
Series 4: Charles Burroughs Co., 1879-1929
Series 5: Sigfried Higgins and Bakelite Printing Plates, 1925-1959
Series 6: Plastic Publications and miscellaneous Materials, circa 1890-1975
Biographical / Historical:
J. Harry DuBois (1903-1986) was an industrial consultant in the field of petrochemicals and plastics. DuBois began his career in the plastics industry at General Electric in 1927. His studies resulted in extending the use of laminated plastics. In GE's molding division he pioneered work on compression molded acetates, injection molding, radomes and low pressure laminates. In 1944 he became vice president of Shaw Insulator Company. He also worked at Plax Corporation, Mycalex Corporation of America and Tech Art Plastics. In 1972 he was president of Mybroy Ceramics Corporation. A member of the Society of the Plastics Industry and the Society of Plastics Engineers, DuBois collected much of this material while writing his book, Plastics History U.S.A, published in 1972 by Cahner Publishing Company of Boston.
Materials at Other Organizations
Syracuse University Libraries, Special Collections Research Center
J. Harry DuBois Papers, 1940-1943
Collection consists of the personal and professional papers of J. Harry DuBois, covering his long career in the plastics industry. It includes scrapbooks and photograph albums of his family and world-wide travel for business, photographs and slides, and audio and film reels.
The collection was donated by J.H. Dubois in 1981.
The collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.