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John M. Tinker papers

1930-1970
 Collection
Accession: 2591

Abstract

John M. Tinker (1897-1974) was the director of Jackson Laboratory, the main research unit of the Organic Chemicals Department of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, from 1943 to 1962. After his retirement, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service and worked for three years as the science attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Karachi, Pakistan. This small collection of Tinker's papers is related to both his time at Jackson Laboratory and his work for the U.S. government.

Dates

  • 1930-1970

Creator

Extent

.5 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

John M. Tinker (1897-1974) was the director of Jackson Laboratory, the main research unit of the Organic Chemicals Department of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, from 1943 to 1962. After his retirement, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service and worked for three years as the science attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Karachi, Pakistan.

John Marlin Tinker was born on April 28, 1897, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Tinker graduated from the University of Chicago in 1918. After a year of service in the U.S. Army, he worked for Newport Chemical Company in Carrollville, Wisconsin, where he researched naphthalene intermediates (for use in synthetic dyes). He oversaw dyestuff intermediate research at the Newport Laboratory in 1929. Newport Laboratory was acquired by the DuPont Company in 1931, and Tinker was transferred to Jackson Laboratory in Deepwater Point, New Jersey, where he became division head of the New Products Division. In 1938, he was appointed assistant director, and in 1943 he became director of Jackson Laboratory.

The Jackson Laboratory was established by the DuPont Company in 1917, and was concerned largely with the development of new organic chemicals such as dyestuffs, elastomer vitamins, camphor, synthetic detergents, freon refrigerants and fluorine compounds, petroleum chemicals, and neoprene. The Semi-Works was a part of the Jackson Laboratory, where the processes developed in the laboratory could be operated on a semi-plant scale; the information obtained from this process permitted the design and development of full-scale plant equipment.

Tinker died in November 1974.

Scope and Contents

This small collection of John Tinker's papers is related to both his time at Jackson Laboratory and his work for the U.S. government. It includes biographic materials such as newspaper clippings, lists of employment records, and biographic entries for various scientific publications.

DuPont Company materials include open house and retirement programs, Jackson Laboratory brochures, and information pamphlets. There are organizational charts and interoffice memoranda about employee evaluations and staff position changes, as well as DuPont-related articles and company newsletters.

Documentation related to Tinker's work as science attaché is limited to correspondence regarding recruitment, acceptance, congratulations on appointment, and thanks for service, including a letter from President-Elect Richard Nixon (1913-1994). There are some itineraries and meeting minutes for Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) Science Council meetings that Tinker attended. There is additional material related to CENTO in the "Lectures and presentations, abroad" folder, which contains programs, flyers, an event itinerary, and two carbon copies of opening statements Tinker made as head of the U.S. delegation at Science Film Forum events in Karachi, Pakistan, as well as one typescript draft of an introduction of a speaker. Both folders of materials on lectures consist of lectures Tinker attended, as well as lectures he presented.

In October 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) began a program to establish a systematic and scientific approach to providing clean water around the world called Water for Peace. From May 21 through May 31, 1967, Tinker attended the second international conference on Water for Peace as a technical consultant observer. Despite being considered a mere observer, the papers indicate months of preparation. Documentation includes press releases; handwritten notes; reports from government taskforces, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the United Nations; the conference program; DuPont Company developmental research pamphlets about the Permasep Permeator that desalinates water; and an Ethyl Corporation pamphlet about the Floror biofilter.

The collection also contains personal materials related to Tinker's family, invitations to dinners, and poems that mention his children or his wife. There are numerous membership cards, as well as his pilot flight logbook.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Separated Materials

John M. Tinker photographs (Accession 1987.232), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Intiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
John M. Tinker papers
Status:
Author:
Laurie Sather
Date:
2021
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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