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The Paul J. Flory papers

Identifier: 85-5

Scope and content

For a more detailed inventory, please view this record in our library catalog:

The main body of the papers consists of working papers for publication. These are left in Flory's preferred arrangement, beginning at the middle years of his career. There are also addendum items that were collected after Flory's death. These have been re-arranged along standard subject/chronological lines. Topics dealt with in the addendum are: China, the USSR, the problems of dissident scientists and the future of polymer chemistry in the U.S. The collection includes Flory's working notes, drafts and manuscripts for most of his major writings including his Nobel acceptance speech, both of his published textbooks and several chapters to a never-completed book on rubber elasticity.


  • Creation: 1931-1985
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950-1978


Biographical sketch

Flory was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1974. Born in Illinois in 1910, he attended Manchester college and did graduate work at Ohio State University, earning his Ph.D in 1934. Flory went to work for the Dupont Company in the Central Research Department where he worked for Dr. Wallace Carothers. Following the death of Carothers in 1937, Flory joined the University of Cincinnati's Basic Science Research Laboratory. In 1940 he worked for the Standard Oil Development Company. He worked on synthesizing a substitute for natural rubber. In 1943 he moved to the Research Laboratory of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. He taught at Cornell University from 1948-1957 when he became executive director of the Mellon Institute. In 1961, he worked at Stanford University where he remained until his retirement.


38 Linear Feet (76 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Emily T. Flory. Method of acquisition--Gift;; Date of acquisition--1985..

Digitized Materials

A small portion of this collection has been digitized and is available online in our Digital Collections:

General Note

Box 76 FF 7 and 8 contains an assortment of photocopies of the important documents from the collection including transcriptions of interviews, the Nobel prize acceptance speech, Flory's statement on human rights, and a detailed report on his working visit to the people's republic of China.

Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 8/28/2023: Digitized Materials note added.

Repository Details

Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository

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Philadelphia PA 19106 United States
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