Title and Description Page
Family and childhood 1
Childhood on dairy farm near Horicon Marsh, education in schoolhouses there and in Waupun, Wisconsin. High school experience and work saving for college.
College and Graduate School 2
Early experience in chemistry at Lawrence College. Election to Phi Beta Kappa, graduation, and teaching college chemistry labs. Influence of Stephen Darling and scholarship to McGill University. Dissertation research on anhydroacetone benzil under guidance of Charles F. H. Allen. Allen's relationship with Wallace Carothers. Interviewing and accepting job at DuPont. Social conditions during school years and at time of graduation.
Early Research Career at DuPont 9
First day at DuPont and research making large-ring compounds for use in manufacturing perfumes. Atmosphere and work organization in Carothers' group. Later work on large rings and use of catalysts to make 17-member rings. Observing Donald Coffman making polymer from aminocaproic acid. Work focusing on polyamides and decision to concentrate on 66 polyamide, made from benzene. Wesley R. Peterson's discovery of 66 salt and subsequent work to develop fiber with high enough molecular weight. Use of autoclave to prevent loss of diamine and subsequent success in making polymer. Scaling up and assignment to run semiworks. Return to research laboratory and assignment to size the yarn for full fashion knitting machine. Eventual finding of boric-acid modified size for yarn.
Impressions of Nylon Research Group 16
Relationships with Carothers and George Graves. Modern Pioneers celebration highlighting nylon. Comments on general work atmosphere.
Management Career at DuPont 19
Promotion to plant technical superintendent at Seaford nylon plant. Addressing problems in operations and materials testing. Promotions through various management positions. Views on supervising vs. conducting research. Relationship with Paul Flory.