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John Kretzschmar Papers

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Kretzschmar, John.
Title: John Kretzschmar Papers
Inclusive Dates: 2006-2018
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Clippings, correspondence, printed material relating to American engineer and to plastics generally.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

John Kretzschmar (1933-2018) was an American engineer in the field of plastics. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he founded Blako Industries, a plastics extrusion firm, and was a long-time member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., and the Plastics Pioneers Association.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Kretzschmar Papers contains correspondence-subject files, memorabilia, and printed material.

Correspondence-subject files includes correspondence with colleagues and organizations in the plastics field, as well as notes and outlines for a speech by JK (under "Polyethylene 75th Anniversary").

Memorabilia contains clippings about Kretzschmar and several obituaries and remembrances from his funeral.

Printed material contains issues of a number of newsletters and magazines from plastics-related organizations, as well as some miscellaneous items such as a laminated card "Engaging Our Customers: A New Dialogue About Plastics."

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Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetically by type or topic.

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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

Two books, Polymer Pioneers by Peter J.T. Morris (1989) and The Story of Erinoid by John Morgan (2008), were transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Six issues of Plastics News (Crain Communications Inc.) were transferred to the general collections for cataloging.

Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections and printed material related to the history and development of the plastics industry. Please search our collections to locate related manuscript collections, and refer to the Classic Catalog to locate printed material.

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Subject Headings


Beall, Glenn.
Judkins, Phillip.
Kretzschmar, John.
Russell, John George, 1940-

Corporate Bodies

Chemical Heritage Foundation.
Plastics Hall of Fame.
Plastics Historical Society.


Engineers -- United States.
Plastics -- Societies, etc.
Plastics industry and trade -- Great Britain.
Plastics industry and trade -- United States.
Polyethylene -- History.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Journals (periodicals)
Research notes.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Kretzschmar Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Leigh Kretzschmar, 2019.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 27 Feb 2019
Revision history:

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Correspondence-subject files
Box 1 Bakelite 100 Years 2007-2008
Box 1 Beall, Glenn 2008-2009
Box 1 Chemical Heritage Foundation 2008
Box 1 Cruse, Jen 2009
Box 1 Goodey, Chris and Roy 2008
Box 1 LDPE [Low Density Polyethylene] and radar 2008-2009 - includes paper by Phil Judkins
Box 1 Plastics Hall of Fame 2008, 2012
Box 1 Plastics Historical Society U.K. 2008-2010
Box 1 Plastics and Rubber Weekly 2007 - includes correspondence with Glenn Beall
Box 1 Plexiglas 2008, undated - clippings and other material on the history of Plexiglas
Polyethylene 75th Anniversary
Box 1 Conference material Oct 2008
Box 1 Correspondence and notes 2008
Box 1 Kretzschmar's talk 2008 - notes and outline
Box 1 Polymer Pioneers notes 2010 - notes on various individuals mentioned in the book, with page numbers
A copy of this book is available in the circulating collection. Please the Classic Catalog to locate.
Box 1 Russell, John George 2008-2009
Box 1 Swallow bust 2009 - discussion of bust of chemist and engineer John Swallow, by Fiore de Henriquez, found during excavation on a building site
Box 1 Clippings about JK 2009
Box 1 Obituaries and remembrances 2018
Printed material
Box 1 BPF [British Plastics Federation] Plastics Timeline 2008
Box 1 Chemical Heritage 2008-2009 - journal of the Chemical Heritage Foundation (2 items)
Box 1 PHS Newsletter 2009-2011 - publication of the Plastics Historical Society U.K. (3 items)
Box 1 Plastiquarian 2006-2012 - journal of the Plastics Historical Society U.K. (8 items)
Box 1 Miscellaneous 2008, undated - clippings, handouts, etc. from various plastics-related organizations

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