Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Nylon, the first true synthetic fiber, was discovered by Dr. Wallace Carothers at Du Pont in 1935. Having experience producing rayon, a man-made but non-synthetic fiber, the company was able to develop nylon quite quickly and started producing it commercially in 1939. First released to the general public in 1940, nylon's first application was women's hosiery, which was hugely successful. With the onset of World War II, applications of the fiber switched to products used for the war effort such as parachutes and B-29 bomber tires. After the war, and thanks to developments of the fiber during wartime, companies like Du Pont expanded Nylon production to different industries, including lingerie, clothing, home furnishing, tires, and more.
This collection consists of black and white photographs of pages from what appears to be a promotional booklet entitled "A Review of Nylon Textile Fibers," created circa July 1948. The booklet includes statistics, graphs, and collages of advertisements for and articles about nylon from fashion magazines and other publications. This assorted media collectively highlights the growth and expansion of nylon usage in various industries, including hosiery, lingerie, clothing, tires, military/uniforms, home furnishings, and more; the properties of nylon; and how nylon compares to other fibers in various applications and in price, consumption, and production levels. Notably, the booklet contains information about both continuous filament and staple fiber nylon, and predicts uses and statistics for nylon in 1951. Photographs of a physical display featuring objects made of nylon from various industries completes the collection; the display is also entitled "A Review of Nylon Textile Fibers." It is possible that this was a trade show display produced by Du Pont; however, there are no brand names present in any of the photographs to confirm this attribution.
Purchased from Briggs Auction Inc.; Gift of Laura Turner, 2005.
Processed by Laura Turner in 2005. Object identification numbers were assigned to individual photographs.
- Science History Institute Archives
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- Finding aid created by Jennifer Nieling and encoded into EAD by Melanie Grear. Item inventory entered into ArchivesSpace by Alex Asal in 2023.
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There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.
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