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J. Harry DuBois Papers

A description of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: DGI/MM
Date: 2006

Biographical History

J. Harry DuBois (1903-1986) was an American businessman and author in the field of plastics.

Born September 18, 1903 in Clarion, Iowa, he began at General Electric Co.'s molding division in 1927. In 1944, he moved to Shaw Insulator Co. until 1950 when he left to work at Plax Corporation where he stayed through 1951. DuBois was vice president of Mycalex Corporation of America from 1952 to 1958 and vice president of Tech Art Plastics from 1960 to 1965. He founded J. Harry DuBois Co. in 1958, serving as as plastics consultant. In 1965, DuBois became president of Molecular Dielectrics, Inc. and president of Mykroy Ceramics Corporation in 1972.

DuBois was also an author and lecturer. His first book, Plastics, published in 1942 and now in its fifth edition, continues to be the basic text and reference book for schools, colleges, and in-plant training programs. Other works include Plastics Mold Engineering and Plastics History U.S.A. He was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 1973. DuBois died in March of 1986.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The J. Harry DuBois Papers consists of the personal and professional papers of J. Harry DuBois, covering his long career in the plastics industry, divided into papers, scrapbooks and photo albums, photographs, and audio and film material.

Papers contains personal and professional papers: a Society of Plastics Engineers International Award in Plastics; consolidated financial statement of Molecular Dielectrics from 1969; Mykroy Ceramics price book from 1974 and Mykroy informational kit; and papers related to the restoration of the Marshalltown, Iowa courthouse in 1977. It also includes cards from his rolodex and business cards he collected over the years.

Scrapbooks & photo albums, 1940s-1993, contains eight scrapbooks and photo albums documenting family world travel and DuBois’ career in plastics including his induction into the Plastics Hall of Fame. Locations include Dusseldorf, Scandinavia, India and the Orient. (Two scrapbooks were removed from their housing: Misc. 1958-1977 and Scandinavian Tour 1976.)

Photographs consists of prints and slides. Prints includes a copy print of the DuBoises with President Gerald Ford, Willerts, Islyn Thomas (2003.865), four prints removed from Molecular Dielectrics Financial Statement, Helen DuBois as child, DuBois accepting his Plastics Hall of Fame award, and photographs of his family. Slides include buildings/building materials, charts/diagrams, family/personal, machinery/manufacturing, molds/molding, objects, parts and people.

Audio and film formats include reel-to-reel audio, films, and audiocassettes. Topics include Bakelite, Plastics Pioneers, Mycalex, and the Lima, Peru manufacturing plant.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is divided into the series listed above, but otherwise is in no particular order.


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

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. See in particular the Wayne I. Pribble Papers.

Subject Headings


DuBois, J. Harry (John Harry), 1903-
Ford, Gerald R., 1913-2006.

Corporate Bodies

Molecular Dielectrics, Inc.
Plastics Hall of Fame.


Bakelite -- History.
Industrialization -- India.
Plastics industry and trade.


Düsseldorf (Germany)
Marshalltown (Iowa)

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Negatives (photographs)
Slides (photographs)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

J. Harry DuBois Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Transfer from National Plastics Center and Museum, 11/06/2008. Originally, gift of DuBois family.

Table of Contents



Scrapbooks and photo albums

Audio & film