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UA 130.004 Guide to the North Carolina State University College of Textiles Committee Records, 1940-1978
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North Carolina State University. College of Textiles.
3.0 Linear feet 6 archival boxes
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff .
Transferred from the North Carolina State University College of Textiles.
Processed by: Lauren E. Garbrick; Terra Kridler;machine-readable finding aid created by: Linda Sellars, updated by Terra Kridler
Minutes, memoranda, and limited correspondence primarily of the Course and Curriculum Committee and the Advisory Committees of the North Carolina State University College of Textiles. Most materials relate to course offerings and college policies. Information from the Faculty Committee is also included. These records have not been processed. They are arranged alphabetically by committee name.
The North Carolina State University College of Textiles is the largest of its kind in the United States, offering one of only two accredited Textile Engineering programs in the country. The College of Textiles produces more than half of the textile graduates in the United States each year.
The textiles department was founded at North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (later North Carolina State University) in 1899 due to Daniel Tompkins's interest in having a textile program. George Franks Ivey taught the first course in textiles in 1899. The next year the college expanded this program; Ivey left and Henry M. Wilson joined the faculty as an instructor in cotton manufacturing. The college offered courses such as carding and spinning, weaving, textile designing, and textile chemistry and dyeing. The courses provided students with specialized expertise to operate mills and use advanced scientific research in the textiles industry.
The original textile equipment was housed in the basement of Holladay Hall. Support for the program grew, and in 1901 the North Carolina General Assembly appropriated $10,000 toward the construction of a textile building. This structure, Tompkins Hall, resembled a textile mill of the period and was completed in early 1902. Thomas Nelson, a young Englishman from the Lowell Textile School in Massachusetts, joined N.C. State's faculty in 1901 and became department head in 1906 following Wilson's resignation.
On 24 March 1914 Tompkins Hall was almost completely destroyed by fire. With the help of builders and manufacturers, who donated much of the replacement machinery, the textiles program bounced back and by 1919 enrollment reached 154. Meanwhile, the textile industry continued to expand in North Carolina, as mills from the North moved South. The new School of Textiles (later College of Textiles) was created out of the School of Engineering at the Board of Trustees meeting on 8 June 1925 and Thomas Nelson was appointed dean of the school.
In 1943 Malcolm E. "Sandy" Campbell succeeded Nelson as dean of the textiles school, and expansion continued. The college joined in the defense effort during World War II by offering a course in fabric inspection and testing for those employed in war industries. In addition, faculty from the College of Textiles investigated substitutes for silk, which was critically needed for the manufacture of parachutes. The college was instrumental in North Carolina's production of fabric for the war, which surpassed all other states.
After the war the area of textiles research continued to broaden, and North Carolina State led the way. Research at the university led to Professor William "Ed" Shinn's 1955 development of the knitted OrlonTM aorta on a necktie machine. In 1959 the state of North Carolina gave funds to support textiles research for the first time. Campbell retired in 1967, and David Chaney was named the new dean. Research funding grew, and the college received several large federal grants during the 1970s. Dr. Solomon Hersh and a team of researchers at N.C. State studied brown lung disease (byssinosis), a disease suffered by cotton mill workers. Through their research they determined acceptable levels of exposure to cotton dust and contributed to the establishment of occupational health standards in textile mills.
Chaney retired in 1981, and Dame S. Hamby became the new dean of a textiles college that offered the largest textiles research program in the United States.
As the college planned to move to the university's new Centennial Campus, advances in textiles research continued. Hamby retired and Robert A. Barnhardt became dean in 1987. The next year groundbreaking for the new College of Textiles building on Centennial campus was 17 May 1988.
In more than 100 years of textiles at North Carolina State University, the college and the field of textiles has diversified. Professor Emeritus Mansour Mohamed worked to produce a method of three-dimensional weaving systems that produce lightweight, superstrong, high-performance textile composites that are used in cars, planes, and in the aerospace industry. This technology was developed for NASA's Mars Mission Research Center at NCSU. In the 1990s Dr. Sam Hudson found new uses for fiber made from chitin and chitosan, materials extracted from the shells of crabs and other shellfish. He and others at N.C. State have developed methods to use chitin and chitosan to clean wastewater left by the dyeing process, to create fibers for paper-making, and to develop a biodegradable wound dressing that employs chitosan's healing properties.
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[Identification of item], North Carolina State University College of Textiles Committee Records, UA 130.004, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC
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