History of Kevlar oral history interviewsCreation: 2014-2015
Kevlar is a synthetic fiber developed by chemists Stephanie Kwolek (1923-2014), Paul Morgan (1911-1992), and Herbert Blades in 1965 while working at the DuPont Company. The oral histories presented here document the research and development processes that transformed Kevlar from a novel polymer in the laboratory to a life-changing product in the marketplace.
- Creation: 2014-2015
- Smith, John K. (John Kenly) (Interviewer, Person)
- Hagley Museum and Library. Library. Oral History Project Office (Organization)
- 302 Stories, Inc (Producer, Organization)
- Oates, Michael (Videographer, Person)
General Physical Description
97 MOV files, 27 MXF files, 27 XML files.
Kevlar is a synthetic fiber developed by chemists Stephanie Kwolek (1923-2014), Paul Morgan (1911-1992), and Herbert Blades in 1965 while working at the DuPont Company. Kwolek developed the liquid crystal polymer and Blades developed a process for spinning the fiber. Originally developed with the intent to be used in tires, the unique strength of the fiber made clear numerous other applications. Kevlar is a fiber five times stronger ounce for ounce than steel, but about half the density of fiberglass. Kevlar was first sold commercially in 1971. Best known for its use in protective vests and body armor, Kevlar is also used in optical-fiber cable, and sporting equipment. There are approximately 200 applications of Kevlar.
Scope and Content
The oral histories presented here document the research and development processes that transformed Kevlar from a novel polymer in the laboratory to a life-changing product in the marketplace. Through many surprising twists and turns, the people profiled here managed to make Kevlar serve the complicated and occasionally contradictory interests of the DuPont Company, scientific inquiry, the marketplace, and the general public
Existence and Location of Originals
This collection is available in the Hagley Digital Archives.
This collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- History of Kevlar oral history interviews
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description:
- Script of description:
- Special thanks to the 1916 Foundation, the friends and family of Mary Laird Silvia, and individual donors for support of this project.