Nylon Sellout

From Newsweek, May 27, 1940, pp. 65-66. © 1940, Newseek, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission and protected by the copyright laws of the United States. The laws prohibit any copying, redistributing or retransmission of this material without express written permission from Newsweek

On May 13 stockings made of Nylon, du Pont's new synthetic yarn, at last went on sale throughout the country. Department and specialty stores were jammed with buyers who snapped up nationally advertised Nylon hose at $1.15, $1.25, and $1.35. The most frequent question was "Will they run?" The answer was they would if the thread was broken, but that Nylon boasted of "superior weaving qualities." Refill orders swamped factories, and it appeared that weeks must elapse before the supply could overtake the demand. By late summer, it is estimated, du Pont will be able to supply Nylon yarn at the rate of 4,000,000 pounds annually -- enough for 6,000,000 dozen pairs of hose. (United States consumption of silk stockings is 43,000,000 dozen pairs annually.) It had been understood earlier that du Pont would limit sales of Nylon yarn to 20 or 30 manufacturers. Just before the nationwide sale, however, the company announced that production would be open to all that could buy the yarn and also removed all restrictions on prices.

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Copyright © 1998 The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. All rights reserved.

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Last Revision: 6/5/98