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Herbert T. Pratt ephemera collection

Identifier: 2012-045-001

Scope and content

This collection consists of chemical company stock certificates owned by various people, as well as receipts and dye samples. The stock certificates in this collection were issued by Newton Chemical Company, Union Dye & Chemical Corporation, Atlantic Tar and Chemical Works Limited, Pennsalt Chemicals Corporation, Dewey and Almy Chemical Company, and The Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company.


  • Creation: 1830-1961


Language of Materials

Text in English.

Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.

Biographical sketch

Herbert T. Pratt (1926-2014) was an American chemical engineer chemistry historian, and a collector of rare chemistry books, chemistry memorabilia and textiles memorabilia. A native of Eden, North Carolina, Pratt earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tri-State College (now called Trine University) in 1945. Upon graduation, he accepted a position as a development engineer with King-Seeley Corporation in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1946, he went to work for Fieldcrest Mills in Eden, North Carolina, where he served as Textile Chemist (1946-1948) and Head of Analytical and Applied Chemistry (1948-1952). In 1952, Pratt joined Du Pont Company's (E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company) Textile Fibers Department in Wilmington, Delaware. At Du Pont, he became a noted expert on textile chemistry which included the areas of physical and chemical properties of fibers, textile dyeing and finishing, and quality management systems. Pratt rose through the Textile Fibers Department's ranks, serving as Customer Service Representative (1952-1963) Research Engineer (1963-1966), Technical Representative (1966-1972), Technical Specialist (1972-1976), Senior Technical Specialist (1976-1980) and Technical Marketing Associate (1980-1985). From 1975 to 1985, he also served as Du Pont's contact for law enforcement agencies seeking assistance in the use of textile fibers as legal evidence in criminal cases. Pratt retired from Du Pont in 1985. While still working at Du Pont, Pratt embarked on a second career as a historian of chemistry with a strong interest in textile chemistry. After retiring from Du Pont, he earned his M.A. in History from Goddard College (1987). Pratt contributed a number of biographies to the 1976 and 1994 editions of American Chemists and Chemical Engineers. He was an active member of several historical organizations, including the National Foundation for History of Chemistry, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation (now called the Science History Institute). He was involved in several historic preservation projects, including the preservation of Viscose Village in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. Pratt was a collector of rare chemistry books, many of which are now preserved at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was also the founder of the Science History Institute's Bolton Society, an organization for chemical bibliophiles. Pratt was also a collector of historic chemistry and textiles memorabilia, which included printed materials, notebooks, and signed items, many of which are also preserved at the Science History Institute. Herbert T. Pratt authored numerous research papers on a variety of technical subjects, including textile chemistry and the history of chemistry. He was also an active member of several professional organizations including the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and the American Chemical Society. Pratt was also the recipient of several awards, including the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists' Olney Medal (1993) and Harold C. Chapin Award (1997). Herbert T. Pratt passed away on January 23 2014.


0.10 Linear Feet (1 folder)

General Note

Chemical company stock certificates belonging to various people and receipts and dye samples.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19106 United States
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