“Fashion Meets Science: Introducing Nylon.”
This exhibition will celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of DuPont’s public launch of nylon and focuses on the impact that nylon has had on the fashion industry. Many nylon “firsts” will be included, such as the hosiery which introduced nylon to the world.
On October 27, 1938, DuPont Vice-President Charles A. Stine announced nylon hosiery to three thousand women’s club members attending the New York Herald Tribune Eighth Annual Forum on Current Problems. The audience burst into applause.
Both 1939 World’s Fairs in New York and San Francisco had DuPont exhibits showing the wonders of the new nylon hosiery. By the time of the first public sale on October 24, 1939, in Wilmington, women were more than eager to own nylon stockings. The sale was so successful that within the first 3 hours of the sale, 4,000 pairs were sold.
On February 10, 1942, the entire production of nylon was allocated to the war effort. When hosiery became available once again in 1945, so many people came out to buy them on the first day of sales that it was called the “nylon riots” in the press.
Nylon hosiery was in such demand that it was available in vending machines in places such as airports and bus stations.
For information about preserving synthetic clothing, download this publication, Preserving Your Memories: How to Preserve Your Synthetic Clothing.