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Walter R. Kosy Papers

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MM
Date: 2006

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.

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.

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.


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


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.

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.

Table of Contents

Dealer Literature



Personal Papers


Product Literature

Professional Papers


Technical Literature