Hull, Donald R. (Donald Robert)
Hagley Museum & Library
Manuscripts & Archives Department
P.O. Box 3630
Wilmington, DE 19807-0630
3 linear ft.
Donald Robert Hull was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on January 31, 1911 and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1934. He joined E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company in the same year and worked at the Old Hickory Rayon Plant in Tennessee before being transferred to the Experimental Station near Wilmington. From 1951 to 1957 he was Technical Superintendent of the Seaford Nylon Plant, after which he returned to Wilmington as Engineering Development Manager for all new fiber products. In 1969 he invented conductive fibers for static control in nylon carpet. Hull retired from Du Pont in 1976 and in 1980 formed Fiber Concepts, Inc., a consulting firm, through which he continued his work in nylon and textile fibers. In 1988 he was among the first recipients of the Nylon Technology Awards. He died at his home in Wilmington on October 15, 1995. The papers of Donald R. Hull consist of a group of fragments which he kept at his home. For convenience they have been arranged in two series, records pertaining to his work at Du Pont and records of Fiber Concepts, Inc. The former consist of a variety of background files reflecting Hull's work with synthetic fibers, both textile fibers and fiberglass. Among official company documents are copies of the Textile Fibers Dept. BULLETINS (1964-1980), a series of lectures on polymers arranged by the Pioneering Research Section, a Textile Fibers Dept. sales handbook for 1957, an an illustrated manual on the nylon manufacturing process (1952). There are also reference files on the history of nylon, on plastics, on fiberglass, and the static-free carpet study. The records of Fiber Concepts, Inc., include the company's minute book and a chronological letter file. The bulk of the records concern Hull's efforts to develop and market the "Duralize" yarn-dyeing machine, which could dye with up to four colors simultaneously, and the similar "Xylonize" machine. The files include patents, calculations, correspondence and drawings. The company's other major projects represented are a plastic mixing valve for use in medical procedures and a scheme for recycling plastic wastes. There is also a reference file on textile history.