1925 William Hale Charch
William Hale Charch (1898-1958) made one of DuPont’s most critical cellulose chemistry innovations and helped guide the company’s development of synthetic fibers. Charch earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Ohio State University before joining DuPont in 1925. One of his first assignments was to develop a means of moisture-proofing cellophane so that the attractive wrap could be used for food packaging. Moisture-proof cellophane, marketed by DuPont, quickly transformed food packaging and marketing worldwide.
Dr. Hale Charch and waterproof cellophane
Dr. Hale Charch, cellophane experiments reenactment
After this early success Charch was promoted rapidly. He became associate director of the Rayon Chemical Division in 1929 and director of the Rayon Pioneering Research Section in 1935. In 1947, Charch came to Wilmington, Del., where he established the Textile Fibers Department's Pioneering Research Laboratory at the Experimental Station. Charch spent the rest of his career directing the development of Teflon®, Orlon, Dacron and Lycra, and garnered numerous awards for his work.