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So, what did the rayon mills make during WW2?


Lee Bishop
 

I've always read that the twin rayon mills in Elizabethton made parachute items in WW2. As I collect that kind of stuff, that seems wrong, as nothing I know of in military parachutes was made out of any rayon product.
My father thinks maybe they were making cores for tires, in an era before steel-belted radials.
Both of my grandfathers worked at the mills during WW2 but both have long since passed away so I can't ask.
I have a couple of the Spinerette magazines from the war years but none actually say what they were making there.
So, does anyone have actual support for what they made there to warrant all the business going on there during the war?


Chris Ford
 

Here's an article from the 3-3 Winter 1991 Stemwinder about the Rayon plants....

http://cfordart.com/Rayon3-3Stemwinder1991.pdf

Maybe it'll give some insight into the operation.

Enjoy!



Chris
------------------------
Chris Ford
President - ET&WNC Railroad Historical Society
www.etwncrrhs.org
chris@...
901-497-0809
------------------------
www.cfordart.com

On Wed, 15 Jan 2020 13:35:33 -0800, "Lee Bishop" <leebishop1944@...> wrote:
 
I've always read that the twin rayon mills in Elizabethton made parachute items in WW2. As I collect that kind of stuff, that seems wrong, as nothing I know of in military parachutes was made out of any rayon product.
My father thinks maybe they were making cores for tires, in an era before steel-belted radials.
Both of my grandfathers worked at the mills during WW2 but both have long since passed away so I can't ask.
I have a couple of the Spinerette magazines from the war years but none actually say what they were making there.
So, does anyone have actual support for what they made there to warrant all the business going on there during the war?


William Uffelman
 

On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 01:35:35 PM PST, Lee Bishop <leebishop1944@...> wrote:


I've always read that the twin rayon mills in Elizabethton made parachute items in WW2. As I collect that kind of stuff, that seems wrong, as nothing I know of in military parachutes was made out of any rayon product.
My father thinks maybe they were making cores for tires, in an era before steel-belted radials.
Both of my grandfathers worked at the mills during WW2 but both have long since passed away so I can't ask.
I have a couple of the Spinerette magazines from the war years but none actually say what they were making there.
So, does anyone have actual support for what they made there to warrant all the business going on there during the war?


Lee Bishop
 

Sadly, thought interesting, neither of these links give any information that can answer my question on what the plants made during WW2...


William Uffelman
 

They made Rayon that was used  in clothing and roping NOT parachute fabric.

The links were obtained by Googling "what was Rayon used for in WW2". Did the same for nylon although I knew that from my prior employment.

Bill Uffelman


On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 7:05 PM, Lee Bishop
<leebishop1944@...> wrote:
Sadly, thought interesting, neither of these links give any information that can answer my question on what the plants made during WW2...


Lee Bishop
 

As I posted originally, I'm very familiar with all types of WW2 parachutes (having once owned one of each type used by the Army Air Forces), and I already knew rayon wasn't used in them at all.
I long ago looked into generally what rayon was used for during the war, as can anyone, but the stories of them making parachutes there persists. I guess you never let simply-located facts get in the way of a good story.
I'd love to know what was actually made in those plants in WW2. Not conjecture (as I can do that myself easily), but hard data from the plants themselves...


William Uffelman
 

Lee I thought they were making yarn not fabric. The yarn then went to spinning and weaving mills to make the finished product. Fiber manufacturer made the yarn to the specs of the finished product manufacturer.

That is how nylon yarn was and still is handled. Different yarn for carpet, dress fabric, parachutes and so on. 


On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 4:58 PM, Lee Bishop
<leebishop1944@...> wrote:
As I posted originally, I'm very familiar with all types of WW2 parachutes (having once owned one of each type used by the Army Air Forces), and I already knew rayon wasn't used in them at all.
I long ago looked into generally what rayon was used for during the war, as can anyone, but the stories of them making parachutes there persists. I guess you never let simply-located facts get in the way of a good story.
I'd love to know what was actually made in those plants in WW2. Not conjecture (as I can do that myself easily), but hard data from the plants themselves...


Brian Kopp
 

I was just watching that ET&WNC war years video tonight and in the section about restarting passenger service to bring workers to the factories they mention parachutes while discussion Port Rayon. You might want to review it.....

Regards,
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL