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DuPont Nylon Collection

Creator:
DuPont (E. I.) de Nemours & Company  Search this
Names:
DuPont, Eleuthere Irenee  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (4 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Clippings
Memorandums
Photographs
Bulletins
Date:
1939-1977
Summary:
Promotional booklets and pamphlets, 1940-1963, regarding nylon; catalogues on the industrial use of nylon; 25th anniversary book on nylon; photographs, and a variety of other documents. Includes memo to DuPont employees concerning the company's wartime involvement in the development of the atomic bomb.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of promotional booklets and pamphlets, 1940-1963, regarding nylon; catalogues on the industrial use of nylon; a 25th anniversary book on nylon; World War II Christmas card of the Nylon Division of Dupont; pamphlets describing the wartime uses of nylon; technical reprints, a cartoon and a plant magazine about the Martinsville, Virginia nylon plant, 1941-1946; an employee handbook, Dupont Nylon Division, circa 1940; newsclippings and historical material for the Chattanooga plant, 1948; news clippings, initial production orders for nylon and typescript on uses and manufacture of nylon at Seaford plant, 1939-1947; publications concerning Delrin Acetal Resins; and photographs of machines for making nylon plastics of the Washington Works, 1947, with a letter from 1977 explaining this material.
Arrangement:
Collection materials are divided into three series.

Series 1: Nylon Production, 1939-1948

Subseries 1.1:Seaford, Delaware Plant, 1939-1940

Subseries 1.2: Martinsville, Virginia, 1941-1946

Subseries 1.3: Chattanooga, Tennessee Plant, 1948

Subseries 1.4: Nylon in War, circa 1942-1945

Subseries 1.5: Photographs, 1940-1977

Series 2: Publications, 1940-1963

Subseries 2.1: Dupont Public Relations Department, 1940-1963

Subseries 2.2:Technical Reprints, News clippings and Magazine Articles About Nylon, 1940-1945

Series 3: "Delrin" Acetal Resin, 1957-1962
Biographical / Historical:
The E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Company was founded on July 19, 1802, by Eleuthere Irenee DuPont on Brandywine Creek for the purpose of manufacturing gunpowder. In 1804 the first DuPont powder went on public sale. In 1902 a new corporation was formed by three great grandsons of the founder, to more effectively compete with the changing technical field and the expanding scale and complexity of business.

During the twentieth century the corporation moved into the research and manufacture of thousands of products and processes, and consequently developed and expanded within many markets. Synthetic fibers is one of a family of products of the Dupont Corporation. In 1930, Dr. Wallace H. Carothers, working with Dr. J.W. Hill in DuPont's Fundamental Research Laboratory at Wilmington, produced the first synthetic fiber forming "superpolymer." This was the forerunner of nylon.

In 1938, the development of nylon was announced. It's first use was in brush bristles. Hosiery filaments were developed in 1939, and offered commercially in 1940. In 1941, nylon was applied to the molding industry. From l942 to 1944, nylon production was allocated completely to war uses. The best known outgrowth of the company's resarch progress, nylon is one of the most important developments in Dupont's long history. It was the result of the chemical industry's first large scale fundamental research program. And it proved to be the first of a whole family of synthetics for consumer consumption. The product was bought into commercial production at a new plant in Seaford, Delaware.

No other major chemical development had the spontaneous reception accorded to nylon. It not only changed the hosiery market but was soon developed into a multiplicity of textile applications including: tooth brushes, hair brushes, household brushes, tennis racquet strings, catheters, surgical sutures, fishing leader material, musical strings, wire insulation, self lubricating bearings for machinery, umbrellas, undergarments, shower curtains, parachutes, and rope.
Provenance:
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Electric insulators and insulation -- Nylon  Search this
Gunpowder  Search this
Nylon  Search this
Textile fibers, Synthetic  Search this
Chemistry  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Economic & industrial aspects -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings -- 20th century
Memorandums
Photographs -- 20th century
Bulletins
Citation:
DuPont Nylon Collection, 1939-1977, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0007
See more items in:
DuPont Nylon Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0007
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