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Walter R. Kosy Papers

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Kosy, Walter R.
Title: Walter R. Kosy Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1948-1994
Quantity: 9 linear ft.
Abstract: Collection contains personal and professional papers of Walter R. Kosy, as well as his research, product literature, technical literature, and photographs; bulk of material originates from his years at Borg-Warner and his work in the use of plastic in the automotive industry, including ABS and Cycolac.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Walter R. Kosy (1920-1994) was an American engineer and consultant in the field of chemical engineering, specifically plastics.

Born June 12, 1920 in Detroit Kosy graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1942 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. From 1942 to 1945, he worked for Lyon, Inc. in Detroit as a metallurgist doing control and development work on cartridge cases. After World War II, Kosy created the plastics department and laboratory for Lyon Inc.

From 1950 to 1955, Kosy was a project engineer on rubber, gasket and plastic problems for Chrysler Corporation in their engineering division. During this time he was also an instructor in rubber and plastics courses at the Chrysler Engineering Institute. He then moved to the General Industries Company in Elyria, Ohio in 1955 as their sales engineer.

Kosy spent the longest part of his career, 1958 to 1980, at Borg-Warner (Marbon) Chemicals, working on sales and engineering of ABS plastics primarily for the automotive industry. In 1980, Kosy formed Plastics Technical Associations and spent the remainder of his professional life a consultant to the plastics industry.

Kosy was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Society of Plastics Engineers, American Society of Body Engineers, and Engineers Society of Detroit. He was married to Helen with whom he had two children, Linda and Donald. Kosy died January 23, 1994 in Detroit, Michigan.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Walter R. Kosy Papers contains some personal papers of Walter R. Kosy, but the bulk of the material relates to his professional life at Borg-Warner and his work in the use of plastic in the automotive industry, including ABS and Cycolac.

Dealer literature contains sales materials during his time at Borg-Warner.

Drawings contain a large rendering of an unknown object.

Films contain two films on plastics in automobiles: ABS and Cycolac.

Personal papers contain a certificate presented to Kosy for his technical program presented to the Society of Automotive Engineers in 1969; membership certificates; and a booklet highlighting chemical engineers.

Photographs contain photographs and negatives (molds from the Research Validation Corporation, southeastern Michigan plastic molding shops in 1980s, vacuum molding article, Introduction to Plastics kit, Borg-Warner car parts) as well as slides and slide presentations (images of automobiles and automobile parts, presentations on ABS, Cycolac, Cycovin KA, and European automobiles). Slide presentation lists and scripts are filed with the slides.

Product literature contains material from Walter R. Kosy's time at Borg-Warner, specifically advertisements and several booklets featuring Cycolac consumer products.

Professional papers contain Borg-Warner material as well as papers and reports written by Kosy. The former include articles, reports and notes; product literature and sales material; slide presentation scripts and materials on Cycolac, a Borg-Warner product. The latter includes materials on Kosy’s Introduction to Plastics kit from 1950 1953, his article on vacuum molding from 1951, and work on plastics education in schools, 1989.

Research contains materials collected by Walter R. Kosy throughout his career; includes articles on the automotive industry, Society of Automotive Engineers papers, articles and publication on plastics in general and product literature on various projects.

Technical literature contains reference files for Cycolac and a manual for electroless plating products.

Miscellaneous contains Borg-Warner Sales Pioneers binder from 1974 and a map of dealer territories.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Dealer literature, drawings, films, personal and professional papers, photographs, product literature, research, technical literature, and miscellaneous are all arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous holdings in the areas of plastics and industrial design. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Kosy, Walter R.

Corporate Bodies

American Society of Body Engineers.
Borg-Warner Corporation.
Engineers Society of Detroit.
Society of Automotive Engineers.
Society of Plastics Engineers.


ABS resins.
Automobiles -- Design and construction.
Plastics in automobiles.
Plastics industry and trade.

Genres and Forms

16mm (photographic film size)
Scripts (documents)
Slides (photographs)


Chemical engineers.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Walter R. Kosy Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Transfer from National Plastics Center and Museum, 11/06/2008. Originally, gift of Mrs. Walter R. Kosy, c. 1995.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MM
Date: 2006
Revision history: Feb 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC); Jun 2009 - photos redistributed (MRC); 23 March 2011 - reprocessed the collection, added material, and updated the finding aid. (CEG); 23 April 2021 - bioghist minor correction (MRC); 8 Apr 2022 - media processed/updated (MRC)

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Dealer Literature
Box 1 Borg-Warner (Marbon)/Cycolac 1960, 1964, 1972, undated
Box 1 Unknown object undated
Reel ABS: Modern Material for Pipe and Fittings #10 - accompanied by photocopies of containers labels (16mm film) (ID#: kosy_wr_001)
Film title: Cycolac, directed and edited by Bernard Howard, supervised by Holtzman-Kain Advertising, produced by Academy Film Productions. Film shows scenes of workers building rural water systems and pipelines; installation of water/pipeline in a house; demonstration showing plastic pipe samples exposed to chemical and physical forces in comparison with non-plastic materials (cooper).
Reel Cycolac - accompanied by original and photocopies of containers shipping labels (16mm film) (ID#: kosy_wr_002)
Features Cycolac, Marbon Chemical, Borg-Warner Corporation products, production sites, product demonstration, etc. The film is directed and edited by Bernard Howard, produced by Academy Film Productions in conjunction with by Holtzman-Kain Advertising.
Personal Papers
Box 1 Award presented from the technical program 1959
Box 1 Borg-Warner (Marbon)/Cycolac 1959, 1969, 1980 - features a report on a trip to Europe and resume
Oversize 1 Membership certificates
Box 1 "Who's Who in Chemical Engineering in the Detroit Area" booklet 1948
Oversize 1 Borg-Warner car parts and larger prints for vacuum molding article
Box 1 Chevrolet automobile and wheel covers undated
Oversize 1 Detroit Vocational Conference
Oversize 1 "Intro to Plastics" photos
Box 7 Plastic molding shops, SE Michigan 1980s - color photos, in small bound booklets (4 booklets)
Oversize 1 Plastic pieces for cars
Box 8 Automobiles and trucks 1968-1975, undated - includes both interior and exterior parts; auto presentations in Europe based on Safety paper MAX 1969, European and Japanese grilles; also featured is an electric car (845 slides)
Box 9 Chrome parts/prototypes, lecture series 1968-1972, undated - lecture on "The Escapers," an escape mechanism by Cycolac brand ABS; also included are images of products (718 slides)
Box 10 Manufacturing, objects/products 1968, 1972-1973, undated - lecture on "Cold Forming;" also included are images of various products, such as women's shoes, typewriters, toys, and refrigerators (507 slides)
Oversize 1 Vacuum molding article photos
Box 7 Miscellaneous 1950s-1980s (233 items)
Product Literature
Box 2 Borg-Warner (Marbon)/Cycolac 1959, 1962-1965, 1967, undated - features advertisements and several booklets featuring Cycolac consumer products and their advantages (2 folders)
Professional Papers
Box 2 Borg-Warner (Marbon)/Cycolac 1965-1969, 1972 - scholarly articles, technical manuals (5 folders)
Box 3 Borg-Warner (Marbon)/Cycolac 1970-1975, 1980 - scholarly articles, technical manuals
Box 3 Fiberite [1985] - "Future Plastics Corp" photographs and equipment list, recommendations for molding impact Melamine
Box 3 "Introduction to Plastics" 1950-1954, undated - booklet
Box 3 Plastics in schools, injection press 1961, 1989-1990 - article on children's plastics chemistry set, "Plasticor" thermoplastic injection press advertisement
Box 3 Miscellaneous 1948-1951, undated - "SPE News" journals, various articles both typed and handwritten
Box 3 Automobile plastics 1964-1966, 1973
Box 3 Experiments undated
Box 3 "Introduction to Plastics" 1950
Box 3 Plastics 1946, 1948, 1950, 1953-1958, 1960-1961, 1978, 1987, undated - various articles on different products, materials, properties, chemicals, and uses (2 folders)
Box 3 Plastics samples and technical cards undated - 5 samples: Polystyrene high, medium, and low impact; Styrene Acrylonitrile, ABS Transparent
Box 4 Product literature 1954, 1956, 1962, [1975], 1980-1981, 1986-1988, undated - features Plexiglas, injection molding machines, Polyester resins, Tenite, and Fiber Glass (4 folders)
Box 4 Publications on plastic 1948, 1951-1952, 1960, 1964, 1970-1971, undated - features Chrysler insitute of engineering graduate school lecture notes, technical papers on blow molding, "How to Buy and Sell Plastics" booklet (2 folders)
Box 4 Research validation corp. 1990 - housewares index
Box 4 "ResinKit" booklet 1979
Box 5 Seminars undated - chrome plated plastics
Box 5 "Society of Automotive Engineers" (SAE) 1967-1973 - congress papers, technical manuals and information (3 folders)
Box 5 "Society of Plastics Engineers" (SPE) 1944-1946, 1949-1950, 1958, 1960, 1994 - technical proceedings, SPE professional journals (2 folders)
Box 5 "Society of the Plastics Industry " (SPI) 1972-1973, undated - features annual report, technical literature, buyers guide for Cadillac Plastic (Cadco)
Box 6 Technical report 1955 - Chrysler corporation: colors and coatings for decorative Methacrylate parts
Technical Literature
Box 6 Borg-Warner (Marbon)/Cycolac 1962-1964, undated - features reference files on Cycolac and standards and guidelines manual for Marbon electroless plating products (3 folders)
Box 6 Borg-Warner (Marbon)/Cycolac 1963, 1966, 1974, 1977, undated - feartures map of dealer territories and agenda for sales pioneers week (3 folders)

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