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The Hagley Digital Archives provides online access to selected items from the Hagley Library's collection of images, documents, and publications related to the history of business, technology, and society.
Interview with Richard Livingston, 2009 March 26
Dick Livingston begins his interview by discussing his early childhood, education, and his father's career with the DuPont Co. as an explosives expert. He then details his college education at Dartmouth and his military service in an Aircraft Repair Unit (ARU) in the South Pacific during World War II, mentioning his return trip in which he was allowed to set up a cot in the wheelhouse of a Liberty ship. He then describes his work at the DuPont Buffalo Rayon plant, going into detail about the aging machinery in the facility and his work replacing lead-covered materials with more modern corrosion-resistant materials. Livingston remarks on his shift from supervisor to engineering associate at the Seaford Nylon plant, a newly created position which he describes as a sideways career move. He discusses a major project he worked on in this position during the 1970s to monitor and predict chemical changes in the nylon production process, in part by employing pioneering computer simulation software to calculate flows, temperature changes, degrees of polymerization, and other variables. The project resulted in a significant reference manual, and Livingston mentions being honored for his work when DuPont Co. named a room for him at its Singapore facilities. He finally spends some time speaking of his post-retirement role as a consultant for the company.
Livingston, Richard Donnan, 1921-2010
Plasky, Joseph G.
Dick Livingston (b. 1921, Madison, Wisconsin) spent his entire post-military career with the Textile Fibers Department, first at Buffalo and then at Seaford. He received a masters degree in mechanical engineering from Dartmouth College and completed military service in an Aircraft Repair Unit (ARU) in the South Pacific during World War II. His first job with DuPont was in an engineering group at the Buffalo Rayon Plant, where he spent seven years primarily troubleshooting and upgrading machinery related to the production of tire cord for aircraft tires. After being transferred to the Seaford Nylon Plant, Livingston spent some time as a supervisor to a mechanical engineering group before being made an engineering associate. It was in this position that he completed a notable project on continuous polymerizers, which employed pioneering computer simulation methods and which culminated in the creation of a reference manual called Polymer Relationships. The manual details the relationships between chemical and mechanical parameters in the nylon production process. Livingston retired in 1982 and remained as a consultant for DuPont until 2002.
Synthetic fibers industry--EmployeesSynthetic fibers industryTextile machinery--Maintenance and repairNylonMechanical engineersRayon industry and tradeChemical process control--Mathematical modelsManufacturing processes--Computer simulationHandbooks and manuals
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company
1 WAV file. (00:58:32:00)
Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library
Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department (Accession 2010.215)
[Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department (Accession 2010.215), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
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