Barest essentials

I’ve mentioned before that wartime mobilization took nylon completely off the consumer market, and as expected, demand soared after the war ended. And by “soared,” we mean that there was actual rioting in the streets when sole source DuPont couldn’t possibly meet that demand.

Things really didn’t settle down until DuPont, faced with the threat of antitrust action, agreed to license nylon to another producer: Chemstrand, a joint venture of American Viscose and Monsanto. (Monsanto bought out its partner in 1961.) Like DuPont, Chemstrand ran only generic advertisements for garments, not wishing to tread on the turf owned by the mills who bought their fiber. This one ran two whole pages in the fashion mags:

Hosiery ad by Chemstrand

As risqué as they would get would be in the “It’s Nylon or Nothing” series circa 1956:

Lingerie ad by Chemstrand

There also exists a swimsuit version. And yes, there are ads for tires made from Chemstrand nylon, but they’re beyond the scope of this series.







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