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.
Kennedy, Barham Foster, 1929- (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
Kennedy's interview details his working career, including working with the nylon polymerization process and working on the team that installed the first computer at the DuPont plant at Martinsville in 1958, and his promotion to managing the explosives department in 1976 as the result of the July 4 explosion. He also helped with the first carpet fiber at the Seaford plant, where he was the process supervisor. He then was promoted to production assistant for nylon in Wilmington in 1963 to assistant plant manager in Martinsville in 1968, and to manager of the Kinston plant in 1970. In his interview, Bannie underscores the importance of people in the corporate culture of DuPont as well as discipline in his personal management style.
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.
Moore, Frank, 1927- (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer)
After discussing his Wilmington childhood, his brief military service, and his education, Frank Moore describes his first projects as a power engineer with the DuPont Engineering Service Division. In addition to giving project details, he mentions some of his and his coworkers recreational activities at the various plants he worked at. He then discusses the philosophy behind the ESD Gulf Coast regional office in Texas, which he managed for five years and which provides engineering consulting services for regional DuPont and other industrial facilities.
Moore then describes his return to Wilmington in 1969 and the changes he implemented as departmental engineer, such as centralizing small project activity and holding annual meetings with all plant engineering superintendents where the superintendents could collaborate and discuss solutions to mutual problems. He and Plasky also discuss plant power design changes in the Textile Fibers Department. Toward the end of the interview, Moore reflects on his personal management style and DuPont's changing relationship with external engineering and construction vendors, particularly relating to Moore's work for the Fluor Daniel firm.
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.
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.
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.
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.