SCIENCE AND CORPORATE STRATEGY:
Du Pont R&D, 1902-1980
David A. Hounshell and John Kenly Smith, Jr.
Cambridge University Press; New York
731 pages; $34.50
Science, married to technology under the auspices of the corporate industrial research laboratory, has played a central role in the transformation of the U.S. economy in the 20th century. Yet, until the present book, there has never been a detailed, scholarly study of the history of a major U.S. industrial research program covering more than just its early years.
The subject of this study is the research and development programs of a major U.S. corporation, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., between 1902 and 1980. Du Pont was not only one of the earliest corporations to create research laboratories, but from these laboratories emerged a host of successful products, among them nylon, Dacron polyester, Orlon acrylic, Duco lacquers, neoprene synthetic rubber, cellophane, Mylar polyester...