Dupont’s Nylon Plant, Martinsville, Virginia Coming Down

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The DuPont nylon yarn plant at Martinsville, Virginia is two blocks long, from one to six stories in height and is completely air conditioned. It went into operation in 1941 and its nylon yarn output doubled that of the company’s first nylon plant at Seaford, Delaware. The success of stockings was so crucial to DuPont, the company paid $8.6 million to build the world’s first nylon plant in Seaford DE. For several years, the plant produced all of the world’s nylon and employed as many as 4,000 workers during its heyday in the mid-1960s.
“That production facility in Seaford was a remarkable contribution to the Delaware economy,” Adams said. “We are now able to attract scientific talent to that area to fuel the discoveries that occurred later.”
Demand for stockings expanded worldwide after DuPont touted them at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. After the World’s Fair, DuPont produced more than 60 million pairs, earning a $7 million in profit on sales of $25 million in 1941. A second plant was added in Martinsville, Virginia, that year.
Nylons, as the hosiery became known, also started being produced at textile plants from Baltimore to Boston, all of which purchased their nylon supply from DuPont. Sunderland said nylon production sustained the East Coast textile business for a longer period as demand for other textiles dropped.

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