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.
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.
Forehand, Bill, 1930- (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Forehand's interview details time spent developing wind-ups as well as the segregated atmosphere between men and women and different races in the DuPont Company in the 1950s. He also details his experiences in manufacturing and changes in the yarn industry. He discusses time abroad working in Germany and his family's adjustment to the new situation. Forehand's time in Germany was very meaningful, and DuPont invited all of the families back for a 25-year anniversary after they had worked there. He returned to manufacturing yarn at Cape Fear, ultimately moving to process engineering. He also discusses the change in the nature of supervising throughout the history of the company - from hands-on awareness of both home and work situations to a more generic hands-off approach beginning in the mid-1960s. Moreover, he discusses the impact of technology on company processes.
Krol, John A. (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
In his interview, John Krol details the following three phases of his career: nuclear submarine development in the Navy, development engineer to senior management at DuPont Co., and his post-DuPont career serving on various boards in industry, education, and charitable organizations. Krol describes his early life in Massachusetts, crediting his grandfather for developing his sense of discipline, expectations, and high standards. He then details his education at Tufts, which he attended on an ROTC scholarship, and his post-college naval service. He describes his experience in an elite naval group working on nuclear submarine development under the command of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover.
Krol then transitions to his career at DuPont, explaining his reasons for this career shift. He describes the opportunities for career advancement available to him as he held a variety of engineering and management positions. Krol also discusses his experience in manufacturing at Old Hickory and relates some of the events around a threatened strike there. He then discusses his promotion to a marketing sales position and his later impact in the Agriculture Products Department. He then details his experience as President of the Textile Fibers Department and later as Chairmen of the Board of Directors and President of DuPont Co.
Faigle, Gerald (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
In his interview, Gerald Faigle describes his experience in personnel management and his impressions on plant management over the course of his career with DuPont Co. Addressing his time at the Seaford, Delaware plant early in his career, Faigle details the work environment, plant management, and employee attitudes. He also discusses the Industrial Engineering function at Seaford and its role in the plant operations in the early 1960s. Faigle then describes the personnel and various incidents in the spinning area at the Martinsville, Virginia plant. <br>Speaking of his time as Planning and Control Superintendent and later Staple Superintendent at the Wilmington, North Carolina plant, Faigle describes the pressure to increase production and improve quality as well as personnel attitudes toward and efforts made to achieve these goals. Concerning the Old Hickory plant, Faigle comments on an anticipated strike and the efforts the plant management undertook to prevent it. He also remarks on the challenges he faced as plant manager at the Richmond, Virginia plant. Faigle also describes his time with the Chemicals and Pigments Department, commenting on the internal discussion surrounding Freon as a product. He finally remarks on his work in the Safety Group and his post-retirement safety consulting.
Ferguson, Richard (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
In addition to describing his career in his interview, Richard Ferguson addresses a number of critical periods in the Textile Fibers Department from the perspective of management. He details his role providing support from the Employee Relations department in Wilmington to the various fibers plants as they dealt with a period of increased national union activity and local union strike activity. He describes his efforts as plant manager at Kinston to modernize the work force to meet the needs of the new Y6/Y7 Dacron plant, emphasizing personnel work and training.
Focusing on his final position as plant manager of the Cape Fear, North Carolina, plant, Ferguson describes the period of uncertainty in the fibers business during the 1990s. He mentions various difficulties that he had to face as plant manager, including involuntary labor force reductions, other cost reductions, and a dearth of capital funding.
Crickenberger, Raymond (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Ray Crickenberger's interview provides perspective on a career in management within the Textile Fibers Department at DuPont Co. Of particular note are Crickenberger's comments on plant engineering, project management of the Y6 and Y7 lines at Kinston, the effect of transfers on personal life, and the management of personnel problems at various plants.
Addressing his time at Seaford, Crickenberger describes the old spinning machines, a serious screwmelter explosion, and an interaction with the labor union. About his time in Chattanooga, he discusses an incident involving a visit by a Santa Claus as part of a safety program which surprised the Plant Manager as well as an effort to reduce continuous polymerizer (CP) overhaul time. Crickenberger discusses the DuPont approach to an anticipated strike at the Old Hickory plant and also mentions the periodic power failures at the plant and the relationship between plant management and Wilmington management. He also describes in detail his project management of the Y6 and Y7 lines at Kinston during his time as Design Project Manager, noting the major changes occurring within the engineering business during the time period.
Hall, John (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
John Hall describes his career as an operator at the DuPont Martinsville plant, and his interview provides insight into plant life from a wage roll viewpoint. It provides a clear understanding of the problems and lack of solutions DuPont developed while trying to modernize the spinning areas.
Hall's early years describe what it was to live in the rural mountainous area of southwest Virginia. After several attempts he was hired by DuPont in 1968. It is significant to note that Hall describes the hiring as 500/600 in 1965 and 300 in 1968. He was in the latter group and the large group ahead of his affected his seniority all through his career.
Hall describes the T28 and T29 spinning machines which were the light denier modernized spinning machines. They were installed at Martinsville and later moved to Chattanooga. The process was not at all liked by the operators and Hall describes how and why. He relates the life of an operator in the spinning area and also relates various concerns about management decisions.
Reickert, Frank (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Frank Reickert briefly mentions his early life in Poughkeepsie and his college education before delving into his first position with DuPont as a design engineer at Seaford, mentioning several early projects. He then discusses the various positions he held in the maintenance department. Among other projects, Reickert describes a special assignment in which he developed a plan to shift from a system of single-skill mechanics to general mechanics and the way in which he convinced the union rep of the plan's efficacy. He also mentions the safety audit procedures in place at Seaford and has commentary on the levels of management he observed, which he thought was excessive yet appropriate for the time period of booming business.
He then speaks of the 8 years he spent in Jack Sigmund's Wilmington office, primarily as a facilitator and coordinator for various projects and committees. About this period, Reickert goes into detail about the wind-up committee he oversaw, which consisted of maintenance personnel from all the plants that had wind-ups and had members from other departments as well. The committee was formed to exchange information in order to improve the maintenance, operability, and performance of high-speed wind-ups. He also mentions a project on surface coatings he facilitated with the engineering department, which sought to reduce wear and improve product quality. He also details the paperwork involved in producing construction forecasts and his push to computerize them.
Near the end of his interview, Reickert discusses his work in the General Services Department, highlighting a project to redesign and renovate the executive offices of Conoco after that company's purchase by DuPont. He also briefly discusses his post-retirement consulting work, remarking on the amazement of companies at how much money they could save by enforcing safety regulations in the workplace. Throughout the interview, Reickert names other individuals who worked with him.
Synder, John (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
In addition to detailing his work history, Synder comments on the Seaford plant management at the beginning of his career and some of the rules of negotiation with Burlington Industries, for which he was Marketing Director.
Johnson, Ray (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Johnson's interview illustrates the management progression system used by Textile Filers and is interspersed with Orlon business notes. In addition to giving his work history, Johnson details the Orlon process and business as he remembers it in the early 1960's, Kevlar business plans he observed during his time at Richmond, and the DuPont operations at Uentrop, Germany.
Clark, Wayne (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
In his interview, Clark describes his career at the DuPont Co. Martinsville, Virginia, works. Clark describes knowing what he wanted to do and preparing himself to progress. He discusses the quirks available within the plant progression system such a "buying" a shift and being "frozen" in his job and going through spinning on paper. He describes progressing to a group 6 pipefitter, a prestigious position, by studying and applying himself. He was promoted to first line supervisor in operations at first. He supervised one half of the beaming area, which was all women and proved to be a unique experience for him. Later he move through a number of exempt jobs with one period as a shift supervisor in the Power House. The Power House was responsible for supplying services to the operations and Clark notes importance of this job. He indicates he was not comfortable with the assignment and moved out after a period of time, a move that was not unusual at the time.
Clark was recognized as a people person and assigned to Engineering as a resource person. Clark discusses from his viewpoint the impact the Martinsville local union had on the plant shut down decision, a viewpoint which is widely held by others familiar with the circumstances. Clark held a wide variety of assignments and mentions the people he worked for and with during his career; this description serves as a makeshift organization chart of the plant.