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Millard G. Gamble

  • Born: March 8, 1919, Brooklyn, New York

  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0304
Interview Date: July 17, 2002
Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Interviewer: Arnold Thackray
No. of pages: 29

  Abstract of Interview

Millard G. Gamble capped his 39-year career in sales and marketing of fibers at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company as the vice president of the Textile Fibers Department. Gamble begins the interview by discussing his family life and education as an undergraduate at Wesleyan University. He talks about his post-graduation experiences working for the United States Department of Agriculture and as an officer with the United States Navy. Gamble reflects on joining DuPont in 1945 and his sales experience in the Rayon (later named Textile Fibers) Department. Gamble was moved to various marketing and manufacturing jobs before becoming the director of the industrial marketing division and eventually the general director of marketing divisions. He elaborates on a number of contributions that the Textile Fibers Department made to the DuPont Company and discusses the development of various fibers. He also talks about the influence of several leaders in the Textile Fibers Department. Gamble's final years at DuPont were spent as the general manager for textile fibers, where he was responsible for developing worldwide apparel and home fabrics. He became the vice president of the Textile Fibers Department in 1983 and then retired in 1984.

  Education

1941 B.A., Social Science, Wesleyan University

  Professional Experience

United States Navy

1941 - 1945 Various positions, Resigned as Lieutenant Commander

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1945 Employee, Rayon Department

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1946 - 1947 Rayon Filament Salesman, Charlotte, North Carolina

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1948 Rayon Staple Salesman, Charlotte, North Carolina

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1949 Northeast Sales Representative, Providence, Rhode Island

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1950 Assistant Manager of Cordura® Rayon Industrial Yarn

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1951 - 1952 Manager of Cordura® Rayon Industrial Yarn

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1953 Manufacturing Supervisor in training, Seaford Nylon plant

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1954 Assistant Sales Manager of Acetate, Wilmington, Delaware

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1954 Assistant Sales Manager of Nylon, Wilmington, Delaware

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1956 - 1959 Regional Sales Manager, Charlotte, North Carolina

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1959 - 1961 Director, Industrial Marketing Division

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1961 Director, Marketing Services for Apparel and Home Furnishings

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1962 - 1965 Assistant Director, Marketing Divisions

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1965 - 1969 General Director of Marketing, Textile Fibers Department

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1969 - 1972 Director, Spunbonded Products, Nomex® Division

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1972 General Director, Marketing Divisions

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1973 - 1983 Assistant General Manager, Textile Fibers Department

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

1983 - 1984 Vice President, Textile Fibers Department

  Honors

1986 Elected Trustee, Winterthur Museum, Garden ,and Library
1991 Elected Vice Chairman, Board of Trustees, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library
2001 Elected Honorary Trustee, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

Family Background and Education (1919–1941) 1

Father, mother, and siblings. Westfield, New Jersey. Early education. Decision to attend Wesleyan University. Post-graduate employment with the United States government. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Career in the United States Navy (1941–1945) 3

Marriage to Gloria Hine. Decision to become a naval officer. Experiences in the Pacific. Assignment in Washington. Admiral Ernest J. King. Release from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander.

Employment by E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company (1945–1955) 5

Children. Decision to join DuPont. Early work in the Rayon (later named Textile Fibers) Department. Sales career. Importance of Fibers Department to the DuPont Company. Early Management Experience. Opportunities for advancement in DuPont. Robert C. Forney.

Career in Management and Marketing at DuPont (1956–1984) 8

Promotion to regional sales manager. Consolidation of sales of fibers. Promotion to director of industrial marketing division. Major customers. Promotion to director of all marketing services for apparel and home furnishings. Quality standards. Spunbonded Nomex® division formed. Promotion to general director of marketing for the Textile Fibers Department. Promotion to assistant general manager of the Fibers Department. Retirement.

DuPont Textile Fibers Department 10

Impressions of Fibers Department's contributions to DuPont. Influence of management. Orlon®, Dacron®, nylon, Lycra®, Qiana®, Nomex®, Kevlar®, and Teflon®. Leaders in Fibers Department. Andrew E. Buchanan. Other departments in DuPont. Increasingly sophisticated marketing and merchandising. Challenges in the 1960s and 1970s. Wash and wear concept. Quality issues. Textron Company. Forward integration.

Personnel in the Textile Fibers Department 14

Management in Textile Fibers. Transfers within DuPont. Pierre S. DuPont III. Pete DuPont.

Contributions of the Textile Fibers Department 15

Contributions within marketing. Loyalty of customers. Merchandising Division. Diverse end uses. Textile research organization. Development of new fibers. Competition in the world market. China. Decision to sell the textiles business. CEOs of DuPont. Edgar S. Woolard Jr. Manufacturing success. Wallace H. Carothers' discoveries. Personnel policy and motivation. International investments. Expansion in Europe. Argentina. Ducilo S.A. Productora de Rayon. Iran. Oil shortage.

Leaders of the Textile Fibers Department 22

Andrew E. Buchanan. Howard Swank. Edgar S. Woolard Jr. John A. Krol. Charles O. Holliday Jr.

Index 25

  About the Interviewer

Arnold Thackray

Arnold Thackray founded the Chemical Heritage Foundation and served the organization as president for 25 years. He is currently CHF’s chancellor. Thackray received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history of science from Cambridge University. He has held appointments at Cambridge, Oxford University, and Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In 1983 Thackray received the Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry. He served for more than a quarter century on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the founding chairman of the Department of History and Sociology of Science and is currently the Joseph Priestley Professor Emeritus.

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