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David H. Dawson papers

1925 1930-1978
 Collection
Accession: 2817

Abstract

David H. Dawson (1908-1976) was a chemist, senior vice president, and Executive Committee member at the DuPont Company, where he worked for forty years. Dawson's papers consist of speeches and published papers related to his professional life. They also include materials related to his undergraduate education at Drexel University and The Ohio State University, including his doctoral dissertation on heavy water, which probably relates to the hydrogen bomb's development during World War II. There are also some early engineering publications.

Dates

  • 1925
  • 1930-1978

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

David H. Dawson (1908-1976) was a chemist, senior vice president, and Executive Committee member at the DuPont Company, where he worked for forty years. Dawson was born in Philadelphia. He received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University) in 1930 and his doctorate in physical chemistry from The Ohio State University in 1933.

Dawson began working at the DuPont Company in 1933 as a chemist in the Baltimore Pigments Department. After thirteen years in research, he worked for two years as the director of sales and marketing in the Pigment Department. Over the next thirteen years, Dawson worked as the assistant general manager for the Pigments, Fabrics and Finishes, and Textile Fibers departments. In 1955, he became vice president and was elected to the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. In 1960, he became director of the Remington Arms Company, a subsidiary of DuPont. He acted as DuPont's energy and raw materials spokesperson before congressional committees. Dawson retired in 1973.

Scope and Contents

David H. Dawson's papers consist of speeches and published papers related to his professional life. They also include materials related to his undergraduate education at Drexel University and The Ohio State University, including his doctoral dissertation on heavy water, which probably relates to the hydrogen bomb's development during World War II. There are also some early engineering publications.

The collection is arranged into four series: Education, Publications and writings, DuPont Company files, and Professional organizations, speeches, and talks.

The Education series consists of Dawson's high school yearbook, undergraduate and graduate degrees, convocation programs, and other honors programs and certificates. Visual materials include a page from a scrapbook showing the experimental equipment used at The Ohio State University. There are also some photographs from Dawson's time at the Drexel Institute of Technology. There are two bound typescripts of his master's thesis and doctoral dissertation.

The Publications and writings series includes reprints of articles written by Dawson from 1931 to 1961 and two patents by Dawson. There are reprints from the Harvard Business Review and the history of the Chemistry Department at The Ohio State University written by Earle R. Carley in 1970. Several newspaper clippings and magazine articles primarily relate to Dawson's career, the DuPont Company, tariffs, exports, and the petroleum industry. The DuPont Company files series consists of talks and speeches Dawson gave to DuPont executives, managers, and employees, as well as some media appearances. The primary topics covered by Dawson's speeches include safety, sales and marketing, and managing techniques. The speeches date from 1947 to 1978. There are photographs of Dawson at DuPont Company events and official portraits. There are DuPont Company stockholder notices from the 1950s. There is a set of materials related to Dawson's death; it includes a letter to his children with instructions as to his wishes upon his and his wife's death, an invitation and program to a memorial concert, and letters from the DuPont Company to his widow bestowing condolences and various honors. The Professional organizations, speeches, and talks series includes transcripts or outlines of speeches Dawson gave at various professional associations, such as the Manufacturing Chemists Association; the National Paint, Varnish, and Lacquer Association; and the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi at Drexel Institute of Technology. The primary topics covered concentrate on the role of scientists in industry, management and personnel relations, and international trade. Notably, there is a significant amount of correspondence following a speech Dawson gave about food additives in 1960 at the Symposium on "Science and Food--Today and Tomorrow," hosted by the Food Protection Committee, National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council.

Speeches are listed in chronological order. Speech titles are listed when Dawson provides one, followed by the name of the organization/association where the speech was given. Some events have supplemental materials along with the speech transcript/outline, which is noted in the description; these may include drafts, correspondence related to event planning or felicitations afterward, event programs, and newspaper clippings about Dawson's speech. Speeches date from 1948 to 1975.

Access Restrictions

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

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
David H. Dawson papers
Status:
Author:
Laurie Sather
Date:
2022
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