Pennsylvania Railroad (Corporate Name) (associated name), McIntyre, Marian F. (interviewee), Fryer, Doris T. (interviewee), Vassallo, Geraldine (interviewee), Dorchard, Katherine (interviewee), Lukens, Robert (interviewer), Henke, Katherine (interviewer)
The railroad workers describe how they got their positions and what work they performed. They discuss sexism on the job, wages, uniforms and working during wartime. Interview conducted at Friends Meeting House in West Chester, Pa.
Sacks, David (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
In his interview, Sacks recounts his career in the technical and design sections at the DuPont Seaford Nylon plant. The first major project he worked on was stringing up what he believes to be the first coupled spin-draw Nylon machine, and Sacks goes into detail about the processes the machine performed. He details his transfer to the design department. He then mentions a project developing a hot-draw process for 840-denier tire yarn and spending a few years in the early 1960s supervising draftsmen in the technical section. After being transferred to the plant design section and being made a design group supervisor, Sacks was involved with the installation of the Verson press, a unique machine used in the production of yarn for military uniforms. Sacks then describes serving as a go-between in the early 1970s between the Wilmington engineering department and the Seaford plant for a special project to install ten Type 24 spin-draw machines to replace Type 8 spinning machines, a 95 million dollar project which increased production capacity. The end of his career was spent as a specialist in charge of several groups in the back end of the plant. Throughout the interview, Sacks names other individuals who worked with him and who, if still living, may have useful information for Plasky's project.
Acker, Alvin L., Jr., 1925- (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Acker's interview provides a perspective on plant engineering during the 1950s through the 1980s with a focus on Nylon fiber plants in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Camden, South Carolina; Waynesboro, Virginia; and corporate Wilmington, Delaware. The interview includes details on plant construction, manufacturing processes and organizational changes, such as the move from plant based to regional and centralized engineering services over time. Also discussed are trends in unionization and cost reduction by moving from craft oriented to multiskilled labor.
Harris, William T., 1929- (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
In his interview, Harris describes working the night shift in the spinning department at his first job at the Old Hickory rayon plant and then in maintenance. He describes the early years of the Old Hickory plant and how the work environment was busy and vibrant, and he mentions playing on the DuPont baseball and basketball teams. He set a record at Old Hickory for working 32 hours straight. He states that there were many jobs available in 1946 because women who had worked while their husbands served in the war were quitting. Addressing his work at the Charleston plant, Harris details his experience managing people, union issues and negotiations, the development of Dacron, and the early years of DuPont's expansion.
Paulsen, Bill (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Paulson discusses his role in developing a nylon staple process in the 1940's at Dupont's Seaford, Delaware, works. He also details the important development of the Dacron process at Seaford on modified nylon equipment. DuPont purchased the patent from ICI for the chemistry of the polyester process but it was up to DuPont to develop a manufacturing process. Paulson was responsible for this development and he discusses the development and the writing of the project basic data for the Kinston Plant. Paulson was transferred to Kinston to start up the process he had a major impact in developing, so this interview gives an insight into the development and commercialization of Dacron. After a time in development at Kinston, Paulson was assigned to investigate the state of technology as it exists worldwide. Paulson and an Engineering Department employee Mike Gill spent their careers traveling and gathering information on what competitors and machine suppliers were doing. This effort was viewed in some quarters as corporate intelligence gathering and had a negative effect on some vendors because, according to Paulson, the vendors believed their technology was being looked at without sales potential since Textile Fibers would not commit to purchasing equipment or technology from vendors.
Waide, Ben (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Waide details his career in various positions within DuPont Co. He began his career in Industrial Engineering at Seaford but was quickly reassigned as a process development engineer on the BCF Nylon process working to increase throughput. This led to an assignment as a first line supervisor on shifts and then to a section supervisor on shifts. These assignments were required of management personnel at Seaford. He was later Area Supervisor in nylon staple. Waide discusses the equipment and processes in both BCF (bulked continuous filament) and staple at the Seaford, Delaware facilities.
Waide details his next assignment in Wilmington in the normal management progression serving BCF and Fiberfil. Then, he was assigned to a spunbonded special assignment to study the future of Sontara. Waide discusses the cost accounting problems that were misleading to the analysis of this product. As a result of this work, he moved to Spunbonded Superintendent at Old Hickory and then to Dacron Superintendent. In this position, he was part of the team that contended with a major unionization campaign. He then moved to Plant Manager at Seaford, where he was allowed to run the plant without much outside influence. His statements on functionality responsibilities getting in the way of business success are interspersed throughout the interview but become more focused as the discussion continues. Waide also gives insight into the management change in the Films Department to the SBU (strategic business unit) development, which left the old functional organization concept.
Michelinie, William, 1928- (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
In his interview, Michelinie describes some explosions and accidents that occurred during his time in explosives at DuPont Co., and he describes how the explosives business eventually declined. Addressing his later experience in the fibers department, Michelinie chronicles the development of various fibers machines, the rise of double-knit fabrics and the impact on yarn sales, workplace conflicts, and his work with DuPont machinery customers all over the world from 1976 until his retirement in 1986. He notes DuPont's international business objectives of both supporting customers and staying ahead of worldwide competition, and cites good people skills as part of his success.
Forney, Bob, 1927- (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Forney's interview chronicles the development of a continuous polymerization process for polyester fibers, including the use of the two-step pre-polymerization process, for the prototype at Seaford and the implementation at Kinston, where he moved to supervise the project. Forney also discusses his experience concerning the development of EFT and his work at Old Hickory as assistant plant manager. He also discusses the modernization of Nylon spinners in Wilmington.