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Samuel L. Belcher Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: SDG
Date: 9 Nov 2011

Biographical History

Samuel L. Belcher (1933-2009) was an American plastics inventor and entrepreneur, especially noted for his many innovations in plastic blow-molded packaging.

He began his career with Rubbermaid, Inc. and later worked for Owens-Illinois and Wheaton Industries. He was Product Manager of Container Machinery for the U.S. Plastics Machinery Division of Cincinnati Milicron. He was president of his consulting firm, Sabel Plastechs of Moscow, Ohio, from 1987 until 2009

Among his technical achievements are the first PET bottle with an integrated handle, which he patented and licensed to Mitsubishi of Japan; the first flip-top, living-hinge closure for liquid detergent bottles, patented at Owens-Illinois; the McDonald's foam clamshell package, patented at Owens-Illinois in 1974; the first injection blow molding machine for PET bottles, developed while Director of Research at Wheaton; and the plastic spice turntable, the largest volume single item ever produced by Rubbermaid.

In all he developed 54 patents. Belcher edited the volume Practical Extrusion Blow Molding (New York: Marcel Dekker, 1999) and authored Practical Guide To Injection Blow Molding (CRC Press, 2007). Belcher was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 2003.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Samuel L. Belcher Collection consists of biographical material, subject files, videotapes and writings.

Biographical material contains information about Samuel Belcher’s career and awards he received.

Subject files contains one blueprint drawing of a Beta II Process machine, patent information on the PET bottle with handle, and photographs of various machines and products.

Videotapes contains tapes from various companies about machines and processes.

Writings contains texts and illustrations of presentations given at ABC conferences in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is arranged alphabetically by topic.


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.

Related Material

Twelve plastics artifacts donated with the collection have been transferred to the Plastics Artifacts Collection.

One book by Belcher has been transferred to general collections for cataloging. Issues of the Society of Plastics Engineers Blow Molding Division Newsletter from 1983-2004 (incomplete run) were transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.

Subject Headings


Belcher, Samuel L., 1933-

Corporate Bodies

Automa s.p.a.
Cincinnati Milacron, Inc.
FGH Systems, Inc.
Graham Engineering Corporation.
Jackson Machinery, Inc.
Owens-Illinois, inc.
Plastics Hall of Fame.
Rubbermaid Incorporated.
Sabel Plastechs, Inc.
Society of Plastics Engineers -- Blow Molding Division.
Society of Plastics Engineers.


Blow Molding.
Engineers -- United States.
Plastics in packaging.
Plastics industry and trade -- Equipment and supplies.
Plastics industry and trade -- United States.
Plastics machinery industry -- United States.
Plastics machinery.
Polyethylene terephthalate.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Design patents.
Drawings (visual works)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Samuel L. Belcher Papers.
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Donna Belcher, 2011.

Table of Contents

Biographical material

Subject files