Out of Thin Air: A History of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., 1940-1990

By Andrew J. Butrica; Deborah G. Douglas | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

October 1, 1990, marked the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. This book is the centerpiece of the company's celebration of that anniversary. It grew out of an interest on the part of many former and present employees. Concerned with the complexity of the project and with creating a quality product, William Kendrick, Vice President of Public Affairs, turned for advice to Arnold Thackray, the Director of the Beckman Center for History of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Together, Kendrick and Thackray co-chaired a History Advisory Committee whose other members included Professor Louis Galambos, editor of the papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower at the Johns Hopkins University, Professor John Smith of Lehigh University, and key present and former employees of Air Products.

I am indebted to the members of the History Advisory Committee for their comments, suggestions, enthusiasm, and support. Many other Air Products employees, past and present, facilitated the researching and writing of this book. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the help of those individuals who participated in the initial round of oral history interviews undertaken by Professors Smith and Thackray or who later gave their time to talk with me. My special thanks go to Carl Anderson, Chuck Anderson, Dex Baker, Jim Boyce, Robert Craig, Ed Donley, Lee Gaumer, Mark Halsted, George Hartnett, Dorothy Hoffner, Joe Kaminski, Andy Mellen, Lanny Patten, Frank

-xiii-

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Out of Thin Air: A History of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., 1940-1990
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • PART I THE ROOTS OF ENTERPRISE 1
  • 1: The Entrepreneur and the Engineer 3
  • 2: Air Products at War 25
  • PART II COMING OF AGE 49
  • 3: Survival and Strategies 51
  • Notes 82
  • 4: Air Products Comes of Age 83
  • 5: The Technological Enterprise and Its Culture 109
  • PART III THE MODERN FIRM EMERGES 137
  • 6: Charting a New Course 139
  • Notes 169
  • 7: Investing in the Future 171
  • 8: Triumphs and Troubles 199
  • PART IV A FORTUNE 500 CORPORATION 231
  • 9: Maturity 233
  • Notes 261
  • 10: Planning for Growth 265
  • Notes 292
  • Technical Appendix 295
  • Note 301
  • Bibliography 303
  • Index 307
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