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John Kretzschmar Papers

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 27 Feb 2019

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.

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."

Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetically by type or 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

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.

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.



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.

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files


Printed material