Wallace Hume Carothers in his Du Pont Lab.
Courtesy of Pictorial Collections, Hagley Museum and Library,
Wilmington, DE.


Unit 7: Synthetic Fibers tells the story of the invention of nylon. Students learn about the roles of scientists and corporations in modern invention and the effects of World War II on invention. In the 20th century, invention is often deliberate and part of a marketing strategy designed to influence consumer response. Consumers play a role in the history of technology and invention too and so the materials explore the ways in which women's stockings are sold and used.

If you want to learn more about contemporary inventors, go to the "Innovative Lives" program sponsored by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation which brings school children and inventors together to experience invention first hand. Two textile inventors, Stephanie Kwolek (Kevlar) and Sally Fox (naturally colored cotton) are featured.

[Open Synthetic Fibers]