Oliver M. Hayden

Born: August 20, 1893 | Windsor, CT, US
Died: August 13, 1991
Photograph of Oliver Hayden

Gift of Oliver M. Hayden, CHF Collections

Oliver Hayden served in clinical laboratories and other assignments in the US Army Sanitation Corps during World War I. He joined the Fisk Rubber Company, where he gained experience in rubber compounding and quality control. Hayden then moved to the Organic Chemicals Department of Du Pont, where he worked in screening chemicals for use in the rubber industry, the development of neoprene, and became Manager of the Rubber Laboratory.

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Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0022
No. of pages: 57
Minutes: 178

Interview Sessions

Raymond C. Ferguson
18 February 1986
Wilmington, Delaware

Abstract of Interview

Hayden begins with his life in Windsor, Connecticut, his academic life at Clark College, and his first employment with insurance companies in Hartford. He served in clinical laboratories and other assignments in the US Army Sanitation Corps during World War I. He joined the Fisk Rubber Company, where he gained experience in rubber compounding and quality control. Hayden then moved to the Organic Chemicals Department of DuPont, where he worked in screening chemicals for use in the rubber industry, the development of neoprene, and became Manager of the Rubber Laboratory. He moved into Technical Sales management, Rubber Chemicals Division, and became Assistant Director of Sales in the Elastomer Chemicals Department. During the interview he talks about colleagues he knew and friends he made at Fisk, DuPont and in the rubber industry.

Education

Year Institution Degree Discipline
1914 Clark College AB Chemistry

Professional Experience

Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company

1915
Salesman

Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company

1915 to 1917
Claims Adjuster

US Army

1917 to 1919
Lieutenant, Sanitary Corps

Fisk Rubber Company

1919 to 1926
Chemist

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.

1926 to 1927
Technologist
1927 to 1940
Manager, Rubber Laboratory, Rubber Chemical Department
1940 to 1948
Assistant Manager, Technical Sales
1948 to 1954
Technical Sales Manager
1954 to 1957
Assistant Director of Sales

Honors

Year(s) Award
1955

DSc, Clark University

1958

Honorary Member, Committee D-11, American Society for Testing and Materials

1979

50-year Member, American Chemical Society

Table of Contents

Childhood and Early Education
1

Early life on a tobacco farm in Connecticut. Small country schoolroom. High school in Winsdor.

Undergraduate Education
5

Clark College and Faculty. World War I service in US Sanitary Corps. Marriage.

Family
11

Children and their careers.

Career in Rubber Industry
13

Start of career. Quality control and compounding.

DuPont
17

Move to DuPont Rubber Laboratory. Neoprene development. DuPont colleagues. Other synthetic rubber developments. German pre-war synthetic rubber progress. Experiences on visit there.

Other Activities
33

ASTM and ACS. Further reflections on DuPont colleagues.

Notes
50
Index
52

About the Interviewer

Raymond C. Ferguson

Raymond C. Ferguson obtained his degrees in chemistry from Iowa State University (BS, MS) and Harvard University (PhD). He worked in research divisions of the Organic Chemicals, Elastomer Chemicals, and Central Research Departments of DuPont, principally in molecular spectroscopy, organic structure analysis, and polymer characterization. Currently he is affiliated with CONDUX, Inc., a consulting association of former DuPont professionals.