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# Title Date(s) Contributor(s) Description Description Collection ID Hagley ID Collection
1 Interview with Carl Milligan, 2021 February 19 2021-02-19 Milligan, Carl, 1934?- (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer) Interviewer Joe Plasky asks the interviewee to describe their early life, education, and career history. In his interview, Carl Milligan details the following development projects with which he was involved: methods for determination of ratio of lubricant to antistatic on Dacron staple; equilibrium-no ditch process for staple fibers; beaming process for applying tints to industrial tire yarns; analytical methods for industrial evaluation of epoxy adhesive-activated tire yarns; unreactive...
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Interviewer Joe Plasky asks the interviewee to describe their early life, education, and career history. In his interview, Carl Milligan details the following development projects with which he was involved: methods for determination of ratio of lubricant to antistatic on Dacron staple; equilibrium-no ditch process for staple fibers; beaming process for applying tints to industrial tire yarns; analytical methods for industrial evaluation of epoxy adhesive-activated tire yarns; unreactive epoxies for use in industrial spinning; Kevlar staple process; and improved staple finish in conjunction with Goulston, Inc.
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Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department (Accession 2010.215) 2010215_20210219_Milligan Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department
2 Interview with John Paul Ryan, 2020 May 7 2020-05-07 Ryan, John Paul, 1953- (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer) Interviewer Joe Plasky asks the interviewee to describe their early life, education, and career history. During his interview, John Paul Ryan also goes into detail about the industrial chemistry research being done while he was at Savannah River. He also discusses his work upgrading the laboratory operations at Chambers Works and the impact his efforts had on the business.
Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department (Accession 2010.215) 2010215_20200507_Ryan Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department
3 Interview with Joe Kurian, 2020 January 22 2020-01-22 Kurian, Joseph V. (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer) Interviewer Joe Plasky asks the interviewee to describe their early life, education, and career history.
Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department (Accession 2010.215) 2010215_20200122_Kurian Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department
4 Interview with Ted Merriman, 2015 December 4 2015-12-04 Merriman, Ted (interviewee), Smith, John K. (John Kenly), 1951- (interviewer), Oates, Mike (videographer), 302 Stories, Inc. (production company), Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation (originator) After describing his education and early work at the DuPont Savannah River plant, Merriman describes his first project at the Pioneering Laboratory at DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington in 1969 working on new uses for ceramic aluminum oxide fiber PRD-29. Merriman then details his role in developing a pulped form of Kevlar fiber that made it suitable for use in automobile brake lining in the late 1970s, after it was discovered that the standard material, asbestos fiber, caused a...
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After describing his education and early work at the DuPont Savannah River plant, Merriman describes his first project at the Pioneering Laboratory at DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington in 1969 working on new uses for ceramic aluminum oxide fiber PRD-29. Merriman then details his role in developing a pulped form of Kevlar fiber that made it suitable for use in automobile brake lining in the late 1970s, after it was discovered that the standard material, asbestos fiber, caused a particular form of lung cancer. Merriman developed a process that produced Kevlar fluff using conventional paper-making equipment. Because Kevlar cost about one hundred times as much as asbestos, brake linings had to be redesigned to use very small amounts of it. Working with brake pad manufacturers, Merriman succeeded in producing a commercially viable Kevlar brake pads that had good wear characteristics and were quieter than other types. Brake lining became a significant market for Kevlar. Merriman also describes the extensive testing on Kevlar that DuPont performed at its toxicology facility, the Haskell Laboratory, to ensure that Kevlar did not have adverse health effects.
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History of Kevlar oral history interviews (Accession 2014.249) 2014249_20151204_Merriman History of Kevlar oral history interviews
5 Interview with Wesley Memeger, Jr., 2014 August 19 2014-08-19 Memeger, Wesley, Jr. (interviewee), Smith, John K. (John Kenly), 1951- (interviewer), Oates, Mike (videographer), 302 Stories, Inc. (production company), Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation (originator) Wesley Memeger, Jr. details his contribution to streamlining the synthesis of Kevlar, which allowed the timely start-up of the first commercial scale Kevlar plant. In the laboratory, the polymer for Kevlar had previously been prepared by polymerizing para-phenylene diamine and terephthaloyl chloride in a mixture of two solvents, HMPA (hexamethylphosphoramide) and NMP (N-methylpyrrolidinone). Memeger found that a polymer with satisfactory molecular weight could be made using only HMPA, a...
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Wesley Memeger, Jr. details his contribution to streamlining the synthesis of Kevlar, which allowed the timely start-up of the first commercial scale Kevlar plant. In the laboratory, the polymer for Kevlar had previously been prepared by polymerizing para-phenylene diamine and terephthaloyl chloride in a mixture of two solvents, HMPA (hexamethylphosphoramide) and NMP (N-methylpyrrolidinone). Memeger found that a polymer with satisfactory molecular weight could be made using only HMPA, a discovery which made the preparation of Kevlar more commercially viable, as it allowed for a continuous polymerizer in a single solvent system.

Memeger recounts that DuPont used HMPA as the solvent for Kevlar production in the early 1970s, but after toxicology tests conducted at the company's Haskell Laboratory raised doubts about the safety of the solvent, DuPont replaced HMPA with NMP and calcium chloride. Memeger describes his subsequent work at DuPont investigating melt processible polymers, which share some properties with Kevlar but lack equivalent chemical and thermal stability, as well as his work on ring opening routes to polymers with novel properties. An accomplished artist, Memeger continues to be impressed by the elegance and simplicity of the Kevlar polymer that produces such remarkable properties.
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History of Kevlar oral history interviews (Accession 2014.249) 2014249_20140819_Memeger History of Kevlar oral history interviews
6 Interview with Herbert Blades, 2014 August 19 2014-08-19 Blades, Herbert (interviewee), Smith, John K. (John Kenly), 1951- (interviewer), Oates, Mike (videographer), 302 Stories, Inc. (production company), Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation (originator) After describing his education and early work at the DuPont Company on polymer solutions, Herbert Blades recounts his contributions to the development of Tyvek and Kevlar. On the Tyvek project, he describes developing the polymerization process for creating high-density polyethylene fibers after such paper-like fibers had been accidentally created in the laboratory.

Blades details his work on Kevlar, for which he developed a commercially viable process to spin fibers from the polymer. Blades...
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After describing his education and early work at the DuPont Company on polymer solutions, Herbert Blades recounts his contributions to the development of Tyvek and Kevlar. On the Tyvek project, he describes developing the polymerization process for creating high-density polyethylene fibers after such paper-like fibers had been accidentally created in the laboratory.

Blades details his work on Kevlar, for which he developed a commercially viable process to spin fibers from the polymer. Blades describes the three components of the process. First, he discovered that a relatively high concentration of polymer could be dissolved upon heating in 100 per cent sulfuric acid, which is non-aqueous and non-corrosive. The resulting solution had a low enough viscosity that it could be spun rapidly through a spinnerette, a small hole. Next, Blades discovered that instead of spinning the fiber directly into a water bath, leaving a small air gap led to fibers that were significantly stronger. Finally, he determined that the water "quenching" of the fiber occurred extremely fast. His spinning innovations made it possible to spin Kevlar fibers economically and at high speeds.
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History of Kevlar oral history interviews (Accession 2014.249) 2014249_20140819_Blades History of Kevlar oral history interviews
7 Interview with Don Sturgeon, 2014 July 30 2014-07-30 Sturgeon, Don (interviewee), Smith, John K. (John Kenly), 1951- (interviewer), Oates, Mike (videographer), 302 Stories, Inc. (production company), Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation (originator) Donald Sturgeon details his work at DuPont evaluating the properties of Kevlar fibers, particularly for their utility in composite structures. He recounts that while the fiber was incredibly strong in tension, it had relatively poor performance in compression. The peculiar features of Kevlar fibers required that Kevlar reinforced products had to be carefully engineered. Initially, DuPont hoped that Kevlar would find a large market as tire cord. When tire manufacturers opted for steel belts in...
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Donald Sturgeon details his work at DuPont evaluating the properties of Kevlar fibers, particularly for their utility in composite structures. He recounts that while the fiber was incredibly strong in tension, it had relatively poor performance in compression. The peculiar features of Kevlar fibers required that Kevlar reinforced products had to be carefully engineered. Initially, DuPont hoped that Kevlar would find a large market as tire cord. When tire manufacturers opted for steel belts in radial tires, DuPont had to find other markets for Kevlar.

Sturgeon further describes his work in developing novel applications for Kevlar. Because Kevlar was difficult to make and process, DuPont had invested an unprecedented $500 million by the mid-1970s. Instead of one large market, DuPont had to develop many smaller applications for Kevlar. Sturgeon worked on developing and promoting weight-saving Kevlar composite materials to the aircraft industry. He was also involved in developing bullet-proof vests and non-cut fabrics. Through these extensive product development and marketing efforts, Kevlar eventually became a profitable product.
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History of Kevlar oral history interviews (Accession 2014.249) 2014249_20140730_Sturgeon History of Kevlar oral history interviews
8 Interview with Henry W. "Bill" Bartholomay, 2009 March 10 2009-03-10 Bartholomay, Henry W., 1923- (interviewee), Plasky, Joseph G. (interviewer) In addition to addressing general work history, Bartholomay's interview details experiences with women in the workplace and takes a critical look at the vision of the DuPont Company and changes in management style.
Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department (Accession 2010.215) 2010215_20090310_Bartholomay Oral history interviews with former employees of DuPont Company's Textile Fibers Department
9 Raw Footage from 1993 Lavoisier film: Dr. Herman Schroeder interviews 1993 E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (spn), Schroeder, H. E. (former owner) Entire interview with Dr. Herman Schroeder from 1993 Lavoisier Award video, unedited. Schroeder discusses dealing with people, his proudest accomplishments, Jackson laboratories, advice for current chemists, his father and various stories of working at DuPont. After interview, tape includes B-roll of Schroeder walking on a trail and enjoying the outdoors. A bit more interview at very end, outside, about his family life and work at DuPont.
Herman Schroeder collection of DuPont Company audiovisual materials (Accession 2010.204) VID_2010204_B03_ID05 Film and Video
10 Charles J. Pedersen profile 1988-12-08 Schroeder, H. E. (former owner) Pedersen is interviewed about his family and childhood, education and his work life at DuPont. Includes Dr. Herman Schroeder with Pedersen.
Herman Schroeder collection of DuPont Company audiovisual materials (Accession 2010.204) VID_2010204_B03_ID04 Film and Video
11 Nobel Prize Distribution 1987 1987-12-10 Schroeder, H. E. (former owner) 1987 Nobel Prize Award presentation in Stockholm, Sweden. Includes Prize for Chemistry presented to Charles J. Pedersen. With music by the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.
Herman Schroeder collection of DuPont Company audiovisual materials (Accession 2010.204) VID_2010204_B03_ID06 Film and Video
12 Interview with Martin E. Cupery and Harry B. Dykstra, 2 August 1978 [audio] (part 2) 1978-08-02 Strange, Adeline Bassett Cook, 1917-2004 (Interviewer), Cupery, Martin E. (Martin Eli), 1901-1996 (Interviewee), Dykstra, Harold Ben, 1902-1986 (Interviewee) Martin E. Cupery and Harry B. Dykstra have a conversation with Cookie Strange. They primarily discuss their research with synthetic polymers, the discovery of Nylon, and "Purity Hall" at the DuPont Experimental Station. They also talk about Wallace Carothers's overall demeanor and how his gentleness and kindness made him easy to be around. Part 2.
Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers (Accession 1994.311) AUD_1994311_B01_ID04 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
13 Interview with Martin E. Cupery and Harry B. Dykstra, 2 August 1978 [audio] (part 1) 1978-08-02 Strange, Adeline Bassett Cook, 1917-2004 (Interviewer), Cupery, Martin E. (Martin Eli), 1901-1996 (Interviewee), Dykstra, Harold Ben, 1902-1986 (Interviewee) Martin E. Cupery and Harry B. Dykstra have a conversation with Cookie Strange. They primarily discuss their research with synthetic polymers, the discovery of Nylon, and "Purity Hall" at the DuPont Experimental Station. They also talk about Wallace Carothers's overall demeanor and how his gentleness and kindness made him easy to be around. Part 1.
Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers (Accession 1994.311) AUD_1994311_B01_ID03 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
14 Interview with Martin E. Cupery and Harry B. Dykstra, 2 August 1978 [transcript] 1978-08-02 Martin E. Cupery and Harry B. Dykstra have a conversation with Cookie Strange. They discuss their research with super polymers, the discovery of Nylon, and the DuPont Experimental Station. They also talk about Wallace Carothers's overall demeanor and how his gentleness and kindness made him easy to be around.
Carothers Oral History Project (Accession 1985) MSS_1985_01_01_03 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
15 Interview with Gerard Bérchet, 1 August 1978 [audio] 1978-08-01 Gerard Bérchet talks about Wallace Carothers with Cookie Strange. He discusses Nylon and its various versions, including 66 and 6, 10, as well as other projects that he and Carothers were involved with at DuPont's Experimental Station.
Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers (Accession 1994.311) AUD_1994311_B01_ID05 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
16 Interview with Gerard Bérchet, 1 August 1978 [transcript] 1978-08-01 Strange, Adeline Bassett Cook, 1917-2004 (Interviewer), Berchet, Gerard J., 1902-1990 (Interviewee) Gerard Bérchet talks about Wallace Carothers with Cookie Strange. He discusses life in Paris, meeting Carothers, and his trip across the Atlantic to the United States. He also mentions Nylon and its various versions, including 66 and 6, 10, as well as other research projects that he was involved with at DuPont's Experimental Station.
Carothers Oral History Project (Accession 1985) MSS_1985_01_01_04 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
17 Interview with Elizabeth Carothers Kyle, 3 July 1978 [transcript] 1978-07-03 Strange, Adeline Bassett Cook, 1917-2004 (Interviewer), Kyle, Elizabeth Carothers, 1907-1983 (Interviewee) Transcript of a telephone call between Elizabeth Carothers Kyle, younger sister to Wallace Carothers, and Cookie Strange. Mrs. Kyle talks about her childhood in Iowa, Wallace's general personality, his love of tennis and music, and his time at Tarkio College and the University of Illinois. She also discusses their sister, Isobel, and the close relationship Isobel shared with Wallace.
Carothers Oral History Project (Accession 1985) MSS_1985_01_01_05 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
18 Interview with John "Jack" Raven Johnson, July 1978 [audio] (part 1) 1978 Jack Johnson discusses Wallace Carothers with Cookie Strange. He talks about Carothers's academic career, both as a student and teacher at the University of Illinois, the University of South Dakota, and Harvard University. He remembers that Carothers was called "Doc" both at the University of Illinois and later at DuPont. Johnson says he and Carothers's spent a lot of time together while in Illinois, mainly working in the chemistry lab. He talks about his and Carothers's trip to Europe in...
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Jack Johnson discusses Wallace Carothers with Cookie Strange. He talks about Carothers's academic career, both as a student and teacher at the University of Illinois, the University of South Dakota, and Harvard University. He remembers that Carothers was called "Doc" both at the University of Illinois and later at DuPont. Johnson says he and Carothers's spent a lot of time together while in Illinois, mainly working in the chemistry lab. He talks about his and Carothers's trip to Europe in 1926, where they attended a conference in Oxford, England and heard a lecture by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), and worked on research projects in Paris. While in Paris, they met fellow chemist Gerard Bérchet (1902-1990) and convinced him to immigrate to the United States. Johnson says Carothers was a voracious reader and a lover of music. He discusses three letters that that Carothers sent him while at Harvard and reads excepts to demonstrate Carothers's personality, particularly his sense of humor. Part 1.
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Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers (Accession 1994.311) AUD_1994311_B01_ID06 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
19 Interview with William "Bill" Mapel, July 1978 [audio] 1978 Interviewer Adeline Bassett Cook Strange (also known as A.B.C Strange or Cookie) recounts her conversations with William "Bill" Mapel and his wife, Evelyn Raines Mapel. Strange says Mr. Mapel was hesitant to talk about Carothers, and she believes he thought he would be breaking Carothers's confidence. Mapel described Carothers as the closest friend he ever had, and despite Carothers's reserved demeanor, there was an "aura" around him at DuPont and in Wilmington society. Overall, Strange...
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Interviewer Adeline Bassett Cook Strange (also known as A.B.C Strange or Cookie) recounts her conversations with William "Bill" Mapel and his wife, Evelyn Raines Mapel. Strange says Mr. Mapel was hesitant to talk about Carothers, and she believes he thought he would be breaking Carothers's confidence. Mapel described Carothers as the closest friend he ever had, and despite Carothers's reserved demeanor, there was an "aura" around him at DuPont and in Wilmington society. Overall, Strange believes that much of Carothers's life was controlled by Mapel's "aggressive interests and kindness," and that Carothers was amenable to this because of his insecurities.
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Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers (Accession 1994.311) AUD_1994311_B01_ID02 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
20 Interview with John and Elizabeth Miles, July 1978 [audio] 1978 Strange, Adeline Bassett Cook, 1917-2004 (Interviewer), Miles, John Blanchard, Jr., 1902-1990 (Interviewee), Miles, Elizabeth Colles Lankford, 1907-1995 (Interviewee) John and Elizabeth "Lib" Miles discuss Wallace Carothers, primarily focusing on his marriage to Helen Sweetman (1911-2000). Both John and Lib express their disapproval of Ms. Sweetman and believe the marriage was a mistake, recounting several stories to support their opinions. They talk about Carothers's general personality, including his love of drinking, music, and cheese, his insecurities, and his focus, intelligence, and kindness. Carothers's work with DuPont and Nylon, his battle with...
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John and Elizabeth "Lib" Miles discuss Wallace Carothers, primarily focusing on his marriage to Helen Sweetman (1911-2000). Both John and Lib express their disapproval of Ms. Sweetman and believe the marriage was a mistake, recounting several stories to support their opinions. They talk about Carothers's general personality, including his love of drinking, music, and cheese, his insecurities, and his focus, intelligence, and kindness. Carothers's work with DuPont and Nylon, his battle with depression, and his eventual suicide are also discussed.
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Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers (Accession 1994.311) AUD_1994311_B01_ID01 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
21 Interview with John "Jack" Raven Johnson, July 1978 [audio] (part 2) 1978 Jack Johnson discusses Wallace Carothers with Cookie Strange. He talks about Carothers's academic career, both as a student and teacher at the University of Illinois, the University of South Dakota, and Harvard University. He remembers that Carothers was called "Doc" both at the University of Illinois and later at DuPont. Johnson says he and Carothers's spent a lot of time together while in Illinois, mainly working in the chemistry lab. He talks about his and Carothers's trip to Europe in...
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Jack Johnson discusses Wallace Carothers with Cookie Strange. He talks about Carothers's academic career, both as a student and teacher at the University of Illinois, the University of South Dakota, and Harvard University. He remembers that Carothers was called "Doc" both at the University of Illinois and later at DuPont. Johnson says he and Carothers's spent a lot of time together while in Illinois, mainly working in the chemistry lab. He talks about his and Carothers's trip to Europe in 1926, where they attended a conference in Oxford, England and heard a lecture by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), and worked on research projects in Paris. While in Paris, they met fellow chemist Gerard Bérchet (1902-1990) and convinced him to immigrate to the United States. Johnson says Carothers was a voracious reader and a lover of music. He discusses three letters that that Carothers sent him while at Harvard and reads excepts to demonstrate Carothers's personality, particularly his sense of humor. Part 2.
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Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers (Accession 1994.311) AUD_1994311_B01_ID07 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
22 Interview with John and Elizabeth Miles, July 1978 [transcript] 1978 A rough transcript of Cookie Strange's conversation with John and Elizabeth "Lib" Miles in July, 1978. The Miles' discuss Wallace Carothers, primarily focusing on his marriage to Helen Sweetman (1911-2000). Both John and Lib express their disapproval of Ms. Sweetman and believe the marriage was a mistake, recounting several stories to support their opinions. They talk about Carothers's general personality, including his love of drinking, music, and cheese, his insecurities, and his focus,...
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A rough transcript of Cookie Strange's conversation with John and Elizabeth "Lib" Miles in July, 1978. The Miles' discuss Wallace Carothers, primarily focusing on his marriage to Helen Sweetman (1911-2000). Both John and Lib express their disapproval of Ms. Sweetman and believe the marriage was a mistake, recounting several stories to support their opinions. They talk about Carothers's general personality, including his love of drinking, music, and cheese, his insecurities, and his focus, intelligence, and kindness. Carothers's work with DuPont and Nylon, his battle with depression, and his eventual suicide are also discussed.
Show less
Carothers Oral History Project (Accession 1985) MSS_1985_01_01_01 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
23 Interview with William "Bill" Mapel, July 1978 [transcript] 1978 Strange, Adeline Bassett Cook, 1917-2004 (Interviewer), Mapel, William, 1902-1984 (Interviewee) Interviewer Adeline Bassett Cook Strange (also known as A.B.C Strange or Cookie) recounts her conversations with William "Bill" Mapel and his wife, Evelyn Raines Mapel. Strange says Mr. Mapel was hesitant to talk about Carothers, and she believes he thought he would be breaking Carothers's confidence. Mapel described Carothers as the closest friend he ever had, and despite Carothers's reserved demeanor, there was an "aura" around him at DuPont and in Wilmington society. Overall, Strange...
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Interviewer Adeline Bassett Cook Strange (also known as A.B.C Strange or Cookie) recounts her conversations with William "Bill" Mapel and his wife, Evelyn Raines Mapel. Strange says Mr. Mapel was hesitant to talk about Carothers, and she believes he thought he would be breaking Carothers's confidence. Mapel described Carothers as the closest friend he ever had, and despite Carothers's reserved demeanor, there was an "aura" around him at DuPont and in Wilmington society. Overall, Strange believes that much of Carothers's life was controlled by Mapel's "aggressive interests and kindness," and that Carothers was amenable to this because of his insecurities.
Show less
Carothers Oral History Project (Accession 1985) MSS_1985_01_01_02 Oral history interviews on Wallace Carothers
24 Roy Plunkett (right) reenacts invention of Teflon 1966 E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (originator) Chemists Roy Plunkett (right) and Robert McHarness (center) and Technician Jack Rebok re-enact the discovery of fluorocarbon polymers.
DuPont Company External Affairs Department photograph file (Accession 2004.268) AVD_2004268_P00000214 DuPont Company External Affairs Department photograph file, Teflon
25 The Development of Industrial Research in America to 1920 1962 Lewis, W. David (Walter David), 1931- (author) Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation research reports (Accession 1645) MS1645_047 Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation research reports

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