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E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Polymer Products Department records

1929-1992
 Collection
Accession: 1747

Abstract

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Polymer Products Department researched, developed, and manufactured products made out of elastomers, plastics, and resins. The collection includes records from the Marketing Services Division, Experimental Station, Plastics Department's Polymer Products Division, Fabrics and Finishes Department, and Specialty Polymers Division. The records reflect the diverse functions for which the department and its predecessor components were responsible and contain material representing several periods in the department's history.

Dates

  • 1929-1992

Creator

Extent

13.5 Linear Feet

Historical Note

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Polymer Products Department researched, developed, and manufactured products made out of elastomers, plastics, and resins. The antecedents of the department date back to 1931, when several affiliated companies were consolidated as departments of the parent company. The Ammonia Department was created from the DuPont Ammonia Corporation, and the Plastics Department was created from the DuPont Viscoloid Company. In 1949, these departments were merged to form the Polychemicals Department. The new Polychemicals Department manufactured and sold three very different product groups: (1) chemicals made by high-pressure technology (ammonia, methanol, and ethylene glycol antifreeze), (2) nylon intermediates, (3) plastics.

The department's name was changed back to Plastics in 1962. In 1976, the Plastics Department was merged with the Film Department to create the Plastic Products and Resins Department, which developed a relatively new group of plastics which included nylon resins, methacrylates, polyethylene (film), and Teflon. This department was merged with the Elastomer Chemicals Department to form the Polymer Products Department in 1980. The name DuPont Polymers was adopted in 1990.

The Fabrics and Finishes Department was created from the Paint, Lacquer and Chemicals Department in 1929. It was renamed the Finishes and Fabricated Products Department in 1982. The name was shortened to Fabricated Products in 1986. The department was abolished in 1989, and its functions were divided between the Automotive Products and the Polymer Products departments.

Scope and Contents

The records are divided into five series. This arrangement reflects the diverse functions for which the department and its predecessor components were responsible and contains material representing several periods in the department's history.

Series I contains the records of the Marketing Services Division. This series is divided into two sub-series. Sub-Series A contains the files of Morton N. Rabinowitz, Manager for Marketing Research. These files consist of background material, project plans, consultants' proposals, and related correspondence and work papers used to prepare market research studies. Sub-Series B consists of a set of completed marketing research reports arranged in chronological order.

Series II contains the records of the Experimental Station Research Files. Sub-Series A contains a set of patent files consisting of literature searches, patent surveys, and a court transcript from a patent infringement case. Sub-Series B contains the polymer research files which document the development and commercialization of various polymer products. Also included in this sub-series are several departmental histories describing DuPont's involvement in the plastics industry and the growth of the departments involved in polymer research and development.

Series III contains the records of the Plastics Department's Polymer Products Division. These records consist of the "Elvax" D Product Files documenting the development of dispersed polymer technology. A number of different grades of "Elvax" D specialty coating resins were produced, with principal commercial applications as heat-seal coatings and laminating adhesives for the flexible packaging industry and binders for woven textiles. These files include sales and operating reports prepared for the Adhesives Manufacturers Association by Dun & Bradstreet and a venture appraisal report, sales forecast, and finished product specifications for "Elvax" D resins. Also included in this series are the files of the Specialty Coating Resins Product Planning Committee, which contain long-range business plans, price schedules, and memoranda regarding the termination of the dispersed polymers venture.

Series IV contains the records of the Fabrics and Finishes Department. These records, which are quite fragmentary in nature, include a department policy manual, an organization chart for the Sales Section of the Finishes Division, a book of trade sales labels for DuPont paints, a payroll account book for the J. W. Hoffman Company, a history of the Everett, Massachusetts paint finishing plant, and a scrapbook compiled by DuPont paint distributor J. N. Sutton.

Series V contains the records of the Specialty Polymers Division. Sub-Series A consists of market studies and housing information used to research a prospective project which was eventually named Signature Place. Sub-Series B contains the records of Signature Place, a collaboration between Deck House, Inc. and the DuPont Company to build a model home for the purpose of showcasing Deck House homes and DuPont products with applications in the home construction industry. These records consist of the initial agreement, decisions on which DuPont products to use, a public relations program, blueprints and floor plans, and correspondence between the companies regarding an extensive range of project details.

Use Restrictions

Literary rights retained by donor.

Related Materials

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company records (Accession 0500, Series II), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Polymer Products Department records
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2022: Encoded by Angela Schad

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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