CHICAGO (June 23, 9:30 a.m. EDT) — Remembering the people who shaped the evolution of the plastics industry is a goal that the National Plastics Center & Museum and the Plastics Pioneers Association want to share.
The museum and PPA's Plastics History and Artifacts Committee announced June 23 at NPE that they have agreed to collect the personal histories of industry leaders and gather examples of equipment and products that show that development.
“It is a little dream on my part, but everyone I talks to thinks that it is a good idea,” said Dewey Rainville, chairman of the Plastics History and Artifacts Committee.
The committee will raise funds for the new program. Histories and artifacts collected will be the property of the committee, but will be loaned to NCPM. The Leominster, Mass.-based center will archive the items and be able to use them for its programs.
Rainville said he and committee member Frank Nissel have made initial donations to the project fund of $10,000 and $5,000 respectively. Donations of up to $100,000 will be matched by Rainville's nonprofit organization Helpp Inc. Helpp stands for Help Elevate Legal Profession Priorities, a group opposed to frivolous lawsuits against corporations.
“It is a great step forward for both organizations,” said NCPM President David P. Hahn, who applauded the cooperation between the two groups.
The money enables the museum to hire a freelance writer/researcher to work on the first 20 personal histories. The center also is adding a second full-time archivist to assist curator Keith Lauer.
“What we are trying to do is raise the visibility of the project so that anyone with artifacts or history doesn't throw the stuff away. This will give the museum a chance to look at it and see if it should be archived,” Hahn said.
Rainville said that the ultimate goal is to post the histories and images of the equipment and products on the Internet for all to see and use.
PPA was founded in 1942 to foster friendship among longstanding members of the plastics industry. It limits membership to 250 and applicants must have made significant contributions to and have been employed in the industry for 30 years.
NCPM is a nonprofit organization established in 1982. It is dedicated to preserving the past and promoting plastics through education and awareness.