Skip to main content

Hounshell and Smith oral history transcripts

1981-1988
 Collection
Accession: 1878

Abstract

Science and Corporate Strategy is a scholarly history of research and development at the DuPont Company authored by David A. Hounshell (1950-) and John Kenly Smith (1951-). As part of their research, Hounshell and Smith conducted sixty-one oral history interviews with forty-seven current and former chemical engineers involved in DuPont's R & D programs. The interviews constitute an exhaustive first-person account of DuPont's research programs with special emphasis on personalities and the organizational culture of the various DuPont research facilities.

Dates

  • 1981-1988

Creator

Extent

3 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Science and Corporate Strategy is a scholarly history of research and development at the DuPont Company authored by David A. Hounshell (1950-) and John Kenly Smith (1951-).

The book was the outgrowth of an idea of Edward G. Jefferson (1921-2006), chairman and chief executive officer of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company from 1981 to 1986 and a former research chemist. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company is a chemical company more commonly referred to as the DuPont company. Jefferson felt that a history of the company's research and development programs would make an important contribution to U.S. historical scholarship and to current issues in public policy.

David A. Hounshell, a professor of the history of technology at the University of Delaware, and John Kenly Smith, one of his students in the Hagley Graduate Program with an undergraduate degree in chemistry, were asked to conduct the research and to write a scholarly history. They were given free access to the company's records and key personnel under the supervision of a committee of corporate officers. Their project was supported by DuPont through a grant dispensed through the Hagley Museum and Library.

Scope and Contents

As part of their research, Hounshell and Smith conducted sixty-one oral history interviews with forty-seven current and former chemical engineers involved in DuPont's R & D programs. Most of the pioneers had already passed away, but Hounshell and Smith were able to interview many individuals who had started as their assistants or had personal recollections of them.

The Hounshell-Smith interviews constitute an exhaustive first-person account of DuPont's research programs with special emphasis on personalities and the organizational culture of the various DuPont research facilities. There is some discussion of the relative merits of the chemical engineering programs at several universities and of the research efforts of DuPont's corporate allies and competitors.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The interview with Crawford H. Greenewalt may not be copied.

Related Materials

David A. Hounshell and John K. Smith research notes for "Science and Corporate Strategy" (Accession 1850), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Separated Materials

Hounshell and Smith oral history interviews (Accession 2007.234), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Hounshell and Smith oral history transcripts
Status:
Author:
Jason Sylvestre
Date:
2007
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Laurie Sather

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400