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F. Reed Estabrook Papers

A description of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: DGI/MM
Date: 2006

Biographical History

F. Reed Estabrook (1919-2006) was an American businessman in the plastics field.

Born February 7, 1919, he grew up in Newton or Dedham, Massachusetts. He attended Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut for two years (class of 1936) and Harvard University for one year (class of 1940). From 1943 to 1945, he was a lieutenant in the Air Force during World War II. Gorham Co., in Providence, Rhode Island employed him as a sales engineer in their Plastics Division from 1937 until 1940. From 1940 to 1955, he worked at the Northern Industrial Chemical Co., a custom molding company in South Boston, where he became the General Manager in 1954. While at Northern, Estabrook was instrumental in the design and molding of phenolic field telephone handsets and electrical components for the Navy in World War II, and the post-war development of Northern's line of molded melamine dinnerware.

Estabrook founded Brook Molding Corporation (c.1957-1978) and its subsidiary, Precision Molded Gearing in Norwood, Mass. (1972-1976?) which pioneered injection molded nylon gears. He sold Brook Molding in 1978 and established The TAIM Co., a consulting firm to assist clients in machinery, materials, molding methods, practical part design, and building special automated molding equipment. Estabrook was very involved in the plastics industry through memberships and activities. He was president of AIM, 1976, and a member of AGMA (American Gears Manufacturers Association) and ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and active in the Plastics Pioneers Association. Estabrook was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 1973. Estabrook also volunteered time to the formation and governance as a Board member of the National Plastics Center & Museum in Leominster, Massachusetts. He died in 2006.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The F. Reed Estabrook Papers contains the personal and professional papers of F. Reed Estabrook. It includes personal papers but primarily focuses on Estabrook's professional life. The series of professional papers covers his tenure at Northern Industrial Chemical with smaller folders related to his companies Precision Molded Gearing and Brook Molding. The sub-series, Professional activities and memberships, covers a wide array of subjects, including his work on Boston's traffic problem, his involvement in the Sales Managers Club, papers on the 1953 SPI Conference, papers related to his work with the American Gears Manufacturers Association (AGMA), sales articles and aids, and an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) course on the design and processing of plastic parts taught by Estabrook. It also contains two binders from seminars attended by Estabrook: a Society of Plastic Engineers Rochester Section seminar, Innovations in Plastic III, 1993; and an International Powder Injection Molding Symposium, 1993. The Photograph series has two focuses, Plastic Pioneers Association events and slides on the plastics industry used for reference by Estabrook.

Arrangement of the Collection

Arranged in series alphabetically by topic and chronologically within. The Precision Molded Gearing material was removed from its original binder and filed in order as found.


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.

Subject Headings


Estabrook, F. R.

Corporate Bodies

American Gear Manufacturers Association.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Brook Molding.
Northern Industrial Chemical.
Plastics Hall of Fame.
Plastics Pioneers Association.
Precision Molded Gearing.


Plastics -- Molds.
Plastics industry and trade.
Traffic engineering.
Traffic flow.

Genres and Forms

Business papers.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

F. Reed Estabrook Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Transfer from National Plastics Center and Museum, 11/06/2008. Originally, gift of Nancy V. Estabrook.

Table of Contents

Personal papers


Professional papers