Guide to the J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0008
Creators:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986
Dates:
circa 1900-circa 1975
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
2.66 cubic feet
8 boxes
Repository:
J. Harry DuBois (1903-1986) was an industrial consultant in the field of petrochemicals and plastics. In 1927 at General Electric his studies resulted in extending the use of laminated plastics.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection of trade catalogs, research reports, correspondence, photographs, and other historical material relating to the plastics industry was donated by J. Harry DuBois.
Included are trade catalogues of the General Bakelite Company, Bakelite Corporation, and competitors in the plastics industry in the 1920's and 1930's, including Dow Chemical and General Electric; material relating to the Boonton Rubber Company, including Richard W. Seabury's notebooks, 1911-1923; memoranda of 1916, 1918, 1923, and 1926 concerning the history of Boonton's early use of Bakelite for molded products; catalogues, photographs, and a blueprint of a 1897 hydraulic press from Charles Burroughs Company; research reports, 1925-1932, of Sigfreid Higgins, on mechanical development research at the Bakelite Corporation; reports on sales development research, 1941-1946, at the Bakelite Corporation; experimental notes, correspondence on possible patents and other materials concerning the use of Bakelite and rubber for printing plates; reports, notes, and and miscellaneous photographs on the history of the plastics industry; Zylonite trade catalogues, pre-1900; and Recto trademark patent and patent drawing.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into six series.
Series 1: Bakelite Catalogs, 1910-1944
Series 2: Plastics Trade Catalogs, circa 1920-1953
Series 3: Boonton Rubber Co., 1911-1974
Series 4: Charles Burroughs Co., 1879-1929
Series 5: Sigfried Higgins and Bakelite Printing Plates, 1925-1959
Series 6: Plastic Publications and miscellaneous Materials, circa 1890-1975

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
J. Harry DuBois (1903-1986) was an industrial consultant in the field of petrochemicals and plastics. DuBois began his career in the plastics industry at General Electric in 1927. His studies resulted in extending the use of laminated plastics. In GE's molding division he pioneered work on compression molded acetates, injection molding, radomes and low pressure laminates. In 1944 he became vice president of Shaw Insulator Company. He also worked at Plax Corporation, Mycalex Corporation of America and Tech Art Plastics. In 1972 he was president of Mybroy Ceramics Corporation. A member of the Society of the Plastics Industry and the Society of Plastics Engineers, DuBois collected much of this material while writing his book, Plastics History U.S.A, published in 1972 by Cahner Publishing Company of Boston.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Jeffrey Sturchio, Robert S. Harding and Ann Seeger, 1982. Revised by Robert S. Harding, 1994 and 2000.
Author
Jeffrey Sturchio, Robert S. Harding, and Ann Seeger
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by J.H. Dubois in 1981.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Related Materials
Materials at Other Organizations
Syracuse University Libraries, Special Collections Research Center
J. Harry DuBois Papers, 1940-1943
Collection consists of the personal and professional papers of J. Harry DuBois, covering his long career in the plastics industry. It includes scrapbooks and photograph albums of his family and world-wide travel for business, photographs and slides, and audio and film reels.

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred from the Division of Physical Sciences (now the Division of Medicine and Science), April 5, 1983.

Other Finding Aids
Other Finding Aids
Inventory available.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Plastics -- Molding Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Plastics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Catalogs -- 1910-1960 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Petroleum chemicals Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chemistry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dow Chemical Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bakelite Corporation. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Boonton Rubber Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mybroy Ceramics Corporation. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
General Electric Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shaw Insulator Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Charles Burroughs Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives