Every industry has a history, and while the one attached to plastics is shorter than some others, the enterprise is no less impressive in the caliber of people who have given shape to it.
The most remarkable are enshrined each year in the Plastics Hall of Fame at Leominster, Mass., where, to date, 99 distinguished individuals are honored for their accomplishments.
This year, the honor roll expands by nine people, who are profiled in this Monday NPE show issue of Plastics News. They are:
Glenn L. Beall, an engineer, writer and editor, educator and design consultant.
Robert D. Forger, the retired executive director of the Society of Plastics Engineers from 1971-93.
Stephanie L. Kwolek, the first female inductee and the inventor of Kevlar.
Robert A. Hoffer Sr., founder and chairman of Hoffer Plastics Corp. in South Elgin, Ill., and philanthropist and catalyst for the creation of the nation's first two-year programs in plastics technology.
Frederick J. Karol, an expert on resin polymerization and senior corporate fellow at Union Carbide Corp.'s Polyolefins Division.
Bruce H. Maddock, whose work included research into single-screw extrusion and the adaptation of rubber extrusions to thermoplastics. Maddock will be inducted posthumously.
Frank S. Marra, former president of D-M-E Co. and one of the founders of the Plastics Academy.
James McGrath, a scientist and director of the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
George S. Nalle Jr., holder of 26 patents and the developer of direct extrusion of nonwoven plastic netting.
The professional work produced by this year's Hall of Famers significantly helped to influence the development of the plastics industry. They are a remarkable group of individuals whose legacy is impressive.