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Irvin I. Rubin Papers

A description of his Papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: SDG
Date: 15 June 2011

Biographical History

Irvin I. Rubin (1919- ) is an American chemist, engineer, businessman, author and educator who developed many technical processes in the plastics industry, especially in the field of injection molding.

Rubin received his BS in chemistry in 1938 at City College of New York and earned credits at Brooklyn College towards his Masters. His career in plastics began in 1940 as technical director of the molding plant of Robinson Plastics Corp., in New York City (the company later relocated to Hoboken, New Jersey). From 1942 to 1945, he was chief shift chemist at Montrose Chemical Co., in charge of producing tri-cresyl phosphate plasticizer for PVC cable for the war effort. From 1945 to 1946, he ran the manufacturing plant of Columbia Plastic Products, which fabricated acrylic products.

In 1946, Rubin joined Robinson Plastic Corporation. In 1967, he purchased the company and became its president. He was responsible for injection molding, designing, engineering, and production. From 1962, he was president and owner of Irvin I. Rubin Plastics Corp., a manufacturer of plastics medical devices and equipment.

Rubin’s technical contributions to the industry include the development of vacuum metalizing on polystyrene as a commercial process for industrial lamp parts. Also significant was the development of internal carving and coloring of fabricated acrylic parts. In the late 1960s he assisted in the production of the first injection molded thoracic drainage system -- a process that is now standard.

In the 1960s, Rubin published his first series of technical articles. His first book, Theory and Practice of Injection Molds and Molding, was published in 1972. In 1977, he wrote the chapter on injection molds and molding in Introduction to Polymer Science and Technology.

In 1990, he edited the Handbook of Plastics Materials and Technology and wrote the chapter on injection molds and molding in the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) Plastics Engineering Handbook.

He is a Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE). He has served as president of the New York Section, vice chairman of 1955 ANTEC, chairman of the Publications Committee, chairman of I.T. Quarnstrom Foundation, president of the Plastics Molders Guild, consultant to the New York City Board of Education, and as an expert witness in state and federal courts. Rubin was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 1994.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Irvin I. Rubin Papers span the period 1940-2007 and focus primarily on business records of the Robinson Plastics Corp. and on Rubin’s research files for various lectures and writing projects. The records consist of personal records; correspondence; financial records and product literature related to Robinson Plastics Corp. and the Irvin I. Rubin Plastics Corp; photographs and slides, product literature, hand drawings, technical drawings and research files related to injection molding; articles, chapter and book drafts, proofs, illustrations and offprints of Rubin's publications; and videotapes of plastics educational seminars produced by Learning Visions, Inc. Many file series retain the folder names applied by Rubin.

Biographical material contains records that relate to professional memberships and certificates and awards; material related to the Brooklyn Jewish Center Dinner-Dance (1974, 1979, 1983), and a photo of Rubin at the Vic Braden Tennis College (1987).

Companies contains a wide variety of production, management and marketing materials related to Rubin's career spent working for, managing and as owner of the Robinson Plastics Corporation and the Irvin I. Rubin Plastics Corp. Titles to most of these files are those given by Rubin.

Consulting and expert witness work (1988-1996) contains invoices and bills related to Rubin's consulting work as an expert witness, and some statements regarding legal action including Lemelson Patents vs Mattel (1990), Capitol Vial, Inc. and Capitol Spouts, Inc. (1994), and Armament Systems and Procedures vs. Team Tooling, Inc. (1996).

Correspondence includes a variety of Rubin's correspondence, especially with publishers.

Illustrations contain many versions of original and collected charts, tables, diagrams, photographs mostly related to Rubin's many articles, chapters and books related to injection molding. Many of these same illustrations are found in his writings and as slides. Titles to most of these files are those given by Rubin.

Lectures contains texts, slide lists and publicity related to Rubin's conference papers, professional seminars and invited lectures, arranged chronologically.

Photographs and slides includes photographs, photographic negative and slides pertaining to Rubin's companies and especially a large number of 35 mm slides prepared as illustrations for his lectures about injection molding and other processes. Many slides are numbered; numbers correspond to accompanying lists.

Product literature contains an assortment of company brochures and catalogues related to specific products or lines of products including plastics and plastics molding machinery. Titles of most of these brochures are provided.

Products by Rubin contains production, marketing and sales documents related to particular products molded by Robinson Plastics Corp. or Irvin I. Rubin Plastics Corp.

Research files primarily contain folders of periodical articles and ephemera related to different aspects of injecting molding researched and written by Rubin in many books and articles. Folders are divided and titled following Rubin’s organization. Individual articles are not catalogued.

Rolodex contains Rolodex address cards, especially those of clients and manufacturers.

Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) (1951-1959) consists of programs and correspondence relating to the SPE's annual technical conferences (ANTEC) from 1951-1975. Rubin was Vice Chairman of Arrangements for the 15th ANTEC (1958-1959) and moderator at the 20th ANTEC (1963).

Videotapes contains a selection of videotapes and cassettes of seminars presented by Visual Learning, Inc., a company co-founded by Rubin. The collection includes two tapes of a Rubin seminar on injection molding.

Writings contain manuscripts, typescripts and offprints of articles, chapters and books written by Rubin, arranged chronologically.

Artifact records contains photographs and data sheets for more than 100 plastic items donated by Rubin to the Plastics Center and Museum. The artifacts themselves have not yet been processed.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is arranged alphabetically by topic. With the exception of Lectures and Writings, which are arranged chronologically, folders for all topics are also arranged alphabetically.


Access Restrictions:

The artifacts themselves have not yet been processed and are not accessible to researchers.

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

A large selection of plastic objects molded by Irvin I. Rubin and his companies are part of the Plastics Artifacts Collection.

Subject Headings


Atlas, Sheldon M.
Beall, Glenn.
Frizelle, William G.
Kaufman, Herman S.
Robinson, Sol M.
Rubin, Irvin I., 1919-
Shook, Gerald D.

Corporate Bodies

Armament Systems and Procedures.
Brooklyn Jewish Center (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
Capitol Spouts, Inc.
Capitol Vial, Inc.
Circular Crib Co., Inc.
Daysol International.
Gametime, Inc.
Gulton Industries.
Irvin I. Rubin Plastics Corporation.
John Chatillon & Sons.
Plastics Hall of Fame.
Program for the Introduction and Adaptation of Contraceptive Technology (U.S.)
Robinson Plastics Corporation.
Society of Plastics Engineers.
Sonics International.
Team Tooling, Inc.
Vic Braden Tennis College.


Injection molding of plastics.
Plastics industry and trade -- Technological innovations.
Plastics industry and trade -- United States -- History.

Genres and Forms

Blueprints (reprographic copies)
Technical reports.
Video recordings.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Irvin I. Rubin Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Irvin I. Rubin, 2010.

Table of Contents

Biographical material


Consulting and expert witness




Photographs and slides

Product literature

Products by Rubin

Research files


Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)

Videotapes, Visual Learning, Inc.


Writings by others

Artifact records