PRODUCTS: Requiem for a Polymer

Ever since Du Pont scientists in the 1930s mixed coal tar, air and water to produce nylon, the wizards of Wilmington, Del., have been searching and researching for another equally profitable synthetic smash. By 1964, Du Pont chemists thought that they had found it: a porous polymer that looked and felt like leather, yet wore like armor plate. The company thereupon introduced Corfam, a weatherproof shoe material, predicting that by 1984 every fourth foot in the country would be encased in it. Du Pont stock rose to an all-time top of 293¾.

Last week Du Pont announced that, after seven years...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!