Oral History Collection

MAIN ENTRY: Parsons, L. E.
DATE OF INTERVIEW: February 27, March 11, October 16, 1975
INTERVIEWER: Marshall L. Pennington
LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 4 hours, 15 minutes
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE: Professor L. E. Parsons, a Tech student from 1929 to 1936 and a member of the Textile Engineering Department since 1942, discusses that department, his experiences on the faculty, and the development of synthetic fibers.
TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE: Autobiographical data given
Recalls youth on dry land cotton farm
Discusses cotton picking
Diversions on the farm
Rattlesnakes discussed
Talks about brothers
Reasons for coming to Texas Tech as an undergraduate, 1929-1936
Early years as undergraduate at Tech reviewed
Discussion of textile engineering curriculum
Fields that textile engineers may enter
Left Tech for six years and returned in 1942 to teach
Acquaintances mentioned
Beginning of Textile Engineering Department discussed
Suit made for John Nance Garner remembered
Construction of first textile building
Burlington factory at Post remembered
Need for water in the textile industry
Explanation of wet finishing
TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO Continued discussion of synthetic and man-made fabrics
Distinction between the two types of fabrics
Outlines relation between anti-freeze and polyester fiber
Defines polyester and explains how filaments are made

Dangers involved in production of various fibers
Hazards of asbestos
Nomex, a highly heat resistant nylon, and other
synthetics discussed
Characteristics of different fibers
Use of fabrics in automobile tires
Change in popular use of various fabrics

TAPE TWO, SIDE ONE: Strength of various fabric types
Most synthesized fibers are not attacked by moths or mildew
Effect of sunlight on fibers
Specialty fibers discussed
Mohair used in railroad Pullman cars in curtains and
beds because of durability
Vicuna fiber from Andes Mountains
Alpaca fiber also from South America
Camel hair and cashmere favored in expensive
History of man’s use of fibrous materials
Fabrics reclaimed from Egyptian tombs are cotton,
flax or ramie
Ramie described
Traits of different fibers
Silk production
History of mechanization of spinning yarn
Regular spinning and open-end spinning contrasted
Dyeing processes
Water based dyes
Solution dyeing
Printing multi-colored material
TAPE TWO, SIDE TWO: Dyeing processes (continued)
Autobiography (continued)
Worked for DuPont in Tennessee
Returned to Texas Tech for research in 1942
Family discussed
Children attended Tech
Wife received degree in interior design
Non-woven fabrics discussed
Future for non-woven fabrics
Tech’s textile engineering equipment used for research by manufacturing companies
Areas of teaching
Has taught engineering course since 1956
Work with clothing and textile students
Research in textiles at Texas Tech
Helped sell West Texas cotton
Denim fabric discussed
Harold Hinn and John Bradford noted
Texas Tech presidents mentioned
TAPE THREE, SIDE ONE: Memories of Clifford B. Jones
Establishment of Jones Stadium
Memories of E. N. Jones
Memories of Dossie M. Wiggins
Memories of Robert C. Goodwin
Study in Europe (1949)
Recovery from World War II
Conditions in England
Aramids, fibers with high heat resistance
Uses and strengths
Experimentation and potential
J. C. Penney archery equipment
Anecdotes about strength
Split film fiber
Method of making yarn
Description of fabric
Buoyancy of synthetic fabrics
Surgical uses
TAPE THREE, SIDE TWO: Surgical uses of synthetic fibers
Cotton bale sampling standards
Opportunities in textiles
Accomplishments of Texas Tech graduates
Development of mills
Abilene, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
Post, Texas
Littlefield, Texas
Manager, Bob Hale, Texas Tech graduate
Development of finishing plant
Reputation of Textile Research Center
Support of Board of Regents
Open-end spinning
Aid to West Texas economy
Texas Tech Deans of the College of Engineering
William J. Miller
O. V. Adams
Dean St. Clair
Deiser Holcomb
John Bradford
Outstanding graduates
M. L. Hurd
Eliot Knox
Employment during Depression
Size of textile faculty
TAPE FOUR, SIDE ONE: Unusual teaching assignments
Decreasing size of textile engineering faculty
Honors and awards
Participation in research
Viscose research
RANGE DATES: 1929-1975
BULK DATES: 1929-1975