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Eugene F. Phillips Papers

A description of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Phillips, Eugene F.
Title: Eugene F. Phillips Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1936-1997
Bulk Dates: 1950-1975
Quantity: 40 linear ft.
Abstract: American mechanical engineer; collection includes papers, research files, samples of plastic and plastic products, and memorabilia
Language: Most of the collection is in English, with a few items in German.
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

Eugene F. Phillips (1930-2018) was an American industrial designer and engineer.

Born on September 7, 1930, in Derby, CT Phillips graduated from Crosby High School in Waterbury, CT in 1948. He served his country aboard the USS Gherardi (DMS-30) from 1951-1955, as a welder and then a First Class Petty Officer. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, with a BS in Mechanical Engineering (1961) and an MBA (1966).

In 1961, he joined Plax Corporation in Hartford, Connecticut as a Development Engineer; Plax was subsequently acquired by Monsanto Corporation in 1963. Mr. Phillips worked out of Monsanto's Research and Development (R&D) packaging facility in Bloomfield, Connecticut, and regularly interacted with other Connecticut locations including Deep River, Stonington and South Windsor. There he worked on films, foam boards, AstroTurf, and rain flap products. He also worked side by side with notable and talented colleagues like Michael Gigliotti (Gloucester, MA) and Puru Agrawal (Akron, OH).

Most notably, he played a key role in developing blow molding technologies for bottles as part of the LOPAC (Low Oxygen PACkaging) project for carbonate bottles made from acrylonitrile, specifically polyacrylonitrile styrene. The bottling polymer was more pliable and safer than glass, and it was both recyclable and refillable. As a result he worked with a number of major beverage companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Coors, Dr. Pepper, PepsiCo. and Coca-Cola. Monsanto officially rolled out its Cycle-Safe campaign in 1975. Coca-Cola began advertising the bottle as the "Easy Goer" and "Lift it - You'll Love it" because the containers were much lighter than current glass.

During the development of Cycle Safe plastic bottling technology an issue was noticed with the screw top cap. During the unscrewing action the cap could rapidly spin free causing the carbonated beverage to spray its pressurized contents. Recognizing the issue his team of engineers were instrumental in developing in a mold with straight slots features to relieve pressure within the bottle by allowing the gas to escape the perpendicular grooves in the threads thereby giving a type of audile indication that the beverage was under pressure. Phillips is listed on patent 3,722,725, "Package for Pressurizes Fluent Materials," dated March 27, 1973.

As Director of International Licensing for Monsanto, Mr. Phillips traveled the world working with multi-national corporations like Metal Box and Yoshino Corporation. After retiring from Monsanto in 1988 he established a private consulting company, Phillips International, which specialized in packaging of consumer products with clients in several countries.

Phillips married Elizabeth Huber on December 4, 1954. He and his wife had four children: Beth Ann, Lugene, Donna, and Paul.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Eugene F. Phillips Papers is made up of artifacts, correspondence, invention records, legal material, memorabilia, photographs, printed material, subject files, and video/audio recordings. The entire collection relates to plastic bottle design and development by Plax and Monsanto.

Artifacts consist of items manufactured by Plax/Monsanto, primarily plastic bottles and containers. Of particular interest are the numerous Coca Cola and beverage bottles in various colors, shapes, and sizes, as well as novelty toiletry bottles in various shapes (e.g., robot, bear, Batmobile). There are also some items relating to the manufacturing process such as cylindrical preforms, pellets of plastic material, sample bottles, bottles printed with promotional information, and so on.

Correspondence consists of inter-company memos between supervisors and employees, and business-related letters between coworkers, contractors, patrons, and other companies and individuals. Much of the correspondence is about the federal regulations issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) impacting Plax and Monsanto plastic bottle development between 1950 and 1988.

Invention records consists of Plax and Monsanto work files tracking the progress of their plastic developments and inventions. There are original and working set copies for every invention made by Plax/Monsanto from 1937-1960. The invention records are in the original order by the ID number assigned by Plax; it is unclear what the difference is between "P." and "S." invention records.

Legal material consists of agreements, patents, and a court case. The agreements relate to legally-binding business deals, obligations, and contracts between Monsanto and other companies, dating from between 1970-1988. The bulk of the legal material consists of patents -- originals, bound copies, and photocopies -- for Plax and Monsanto inventions. The court case was between Plax Corporation, plaintiff, vs. Precision Extruders, Inc., et al, defendants, in which Plax was alleging infringement of two of its patents.

Memorabilia consists of a variety of items pertaining to Eugene F. Philipp, Plax/Monsanto, and Plax/Monsanto employees. The bulk of the series is made up of work books created by Plax/Monsanto engineers James Bailey, R. W. Caulfield, Ira H. Gutman, and Raymond Jesianowski between 1937 and 1965. These contain notes regarding the progress of various projects, developments, and inventions. Memorabilia also contains articles by Eugene F. Phillips, a few awards he recieved, some Coca-Cola and Monsanto items such as bags, posters, and some humorous items such as a multi-panel cartoon portraying the founding of Plax Corp. and a parody bottle label.

Photographs are in the form of prints, slides, and transparencies. They cover Plax and Monsanto sites, buildings, manufacturing lines, plastic products and inventions, mechanical equipment, and employees. There are a few personal photographs

Printed material consists of articles on technical aspects of plastics production, Monsanto publicity or promotional material, newspaper clippings about Plax/Monsanto (most concern how FDA regulations would impact the plastics industry), Plax publicity or promotional material, and some miscellaneous items.

Subject files cover a range of topics relating to Plax, Monsanto, and plastics development and production. Among other things, these include blownware, conferences, Cycle Safe technical information, licensing agreement lists, press releases from Monsanto (again, most regarding FDA regulations), and items relating to Plax history including photographs and timelines.

Video and audio recordings include talks by various individuals at a symposium, as well as presentations on products (e.g. the Easy Goer bottle), processes (e.g., Blowing M/C), and production methods (e.g., "Unimate Robot for Arc Welding"). Formats vary and include VHS, 1" videotape, 1/2" videotape, U-matic, audiocassette, and 16mm films.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Artifacts were rougly categorized by size and similar-sized items arranged in each box. All others series are in alphabetical order by name or topic.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advance notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Access to audiovisual material requires advance notice to produce a use copy.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has extensive holdings related to plastics and industrial design, in both manuscript and print collections. Please search our collections to find related manuscript material, and refer to the Classic Catalog to locate cataloged items.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Bailey, James (inventor)
Caufield, R.W.
Gutman, Ira H.
Jesionowski, Raymond.
Phillips, Eugene F.

Corporate Bodies

Coca-Cola Company.
Monsanto Company.
Plax Corporation.

Subjects

Beverage containers -- Design and construction.
Beverage containers -- Specimens.
Blow molding.
Heat resistant plastics.
Injection molding of plastics.
Manufacturing processes.
Patent infringement.
Patent suits.
Plastic bottles -- Design and construction.
Plastic bottles -- Specimens.
Plastics -- History.
Plastics -- Molding.
Plastics industry and trade -- Patents.
Plastics industry and trade -- United States.
Plastics machinery.
Plastics plants.
Reinforced plastics.
Rotational molding of plastics.
Thermosetting plastics.

Places

Bloomfield (Conn.)
Stonington (Conn.)

Genres and Forms

16mm (photographic film size)
Articles.
Audiocassettes.
Bottles.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Correspondence.
Legal documents.
Logs (records)
Microfiche.
Negatives (photographs).
Patents.
Photographs.
Reprints.
Research notes.
Slides (photographs)
Sound recordings.
Technical reports.
U-matic.
VHS.
Video recordings (physical artifacts)
Videotapes.

Occupations

Engineers.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Eugene F. Phillips Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Beth Ann, Lugene, Donna, and Paul Phillips, 2020.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 14 Jan 2021
Revision history: 30 Jun 2021 - collection processed (JC)

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Inventory

Artifacts
Oversize 2 Items 2021.58 through 2021.62 - clear green bottles, some with grid lines; one printed with Coca Cola
Oversize 3 Items 2021.63 through 2021.65 - clear and opaque plastic bottles; large metal bottle-shaped solid
Oversize 4 Items 2021.66 through 2021.69 - large clear bottles, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi; opaque Seagram's bottle with colorful design
Oversize 5 Items 2021.70 through 2021.77 - small clear Coca-Cola bottles
Oversize 6 Items 2021.78 through 2021.85 - Coca Cola bottles; toiletry bottles; bisected Coke bottle; solid Dr. Pepper bottle colored to appear full
Oversize 7 Items 2021.86 through 2021.90 - clear Coca Cola bottles; clear Coca-Cola style bottle with "Defendant's Exhibit" sticker; wooden bottle mold; three toiletry bottles in original box
Oversize 8 Items 2021.91 through 2021.98 - medium Coca Cola bottles, beverage bottles; Dr. Pepper can; small brown bottle for "Three Towns" beer
Oversize 9 Items 2021.99 through 2021.106 - small clear Coca-Cola bottles, some tinted green; two tinted blue printed with "RECYLE"
Oversize 10 Items 2021.107 through 2021.114 - glass Coca Cola bottle, bisected vertically; medium-size plastic beverage bottles in various shapes and clear tints (amber, blue, dark brown), including blue-tinted Coca Cola with "RECYCLE"
Oversize 11 Items 2021.115 through 2021.122 - medium clear Coca Cola bottles; opaque toiletry bottles in various shapes, colors, and sizes, some with labels; one in shape of monkey
Oversize 12 Items 2021.123 through 2021.129 - rounded cylindrical "blanks" for blow-molded bottles, clear green; one a cutaway, bisected vertically
Oversize 13 Items 2021.130 through 2021.159 - small plastic screw-top bottles in variety of shapes and sizes, including one shaped like a bear; cutaway view of bottle neck; at least one glass bottle containing unidentified material, possibly related to testing or manufacturing
Oversize 14 Items 2021.160 through 2021.164 - large screw-top blanks; novelty bottle shaped like telescope; Pepsi bottle; large green bottle containing unknown granular substance (2021.164)
Oversize 15 Items 2021.165 through 2021.172 - blanks in various colors; dark-brown PVC beer bottle; "acid fluoboric" bottle (2021.172), unclear whether it was a Plax/Monsanto product or contents was used in production; "Executive Bottle" with "peek-thru" window;
Oversize 16 Items 2021.173 through 2021.178 - "Easy-Goer" bottle; Coca Cola bottles, one with crown cork bottle cap; blue screw-top "blank"
Oversize 17 Items 2021.179 through 2021.188 - opaque plastic bottles, probably toiletry, in various shapes and colors including one shaped like a robot; opaque cream-colored bottle printed with PLAX advertising copy; clear bottles labeled as samples from various manufacturing plants
Oversize 18 Items 2021.189 through 2021.198 - small plastic bottles most toiletry or samples, including one squeezable/flexible Fleet Enema bottle and novelty bottle shaped like Batmobile
Oversize 19 Items 2021.199 through 2021.210 - small plastic containers in various shapes, colors, and sizes, including novelty bottles shaped like toilet, tennis shoe, beer keg
Oversize 20 Items 2021.211 through 2021.235 - very small plastic screw-top bottles, various colors, shapes and sizes; metal cap or lid
Oversize 21 Items 2021.236 through 2021.255 - very small plastic screw-top bottles, various colors, shapes and sizes; group of pop-top metal caps or lids
Oversize 22 Items 2021.256 through 2021.280 - plastic screw-top bottles, various colors and shapes, ranging from small to very small to tiny; includes novelty bottle in shape of honey bear
Oversize 23 Items 2021.281 through 2021.294 and 2021.335 - small screw-top bottles of various shapes and colors; bag of tiny bottles; several bags of plastic pellets, presumably used in manufacturing
Oversize 24 Items 2021.295 through 2021.299 - tall slender glass bottle, bisected vertically; three large very heavy cross-sections of molding machine; small tray printed as Monsanto promotional item
Oversize 25 Items 2021.300 through 2021.307 - small plastic screw-top bottles, various colors and shapes; includes one in glittery metallic gold, another for Kings Men spray deodorant with lid shaped like knght's helmet, another shaped like Pluto (lid, missing, would have been his head)
Oversize 26 Items 2021.308 through 2021.310 - material samples, including opaque nylon sticks and fragile "bubbled" clear plastic
Oversize 27 Items 2021.311 through 2021.329 - screw-top blanks in various colors, including very tiny one in opaque white; string of snap-together large plastic beads; unidentifiable molded zig-zag piece; very small screw-top bottles in various shapes and colors; set of three plastic perforated screw-caps; Perma-Nurser bottle nipple
Oversize 28 Items 2021.330 through 2021.332 - six different sample plastic beverage bottles in cardboard carrier; hollow ribbed plastic rod; clear plastic desk organizer, unclear whether this was a product or Phillips' personal item
Oversize 31 Item 2021.333 - "Cycle-Safe" sample packaging
Oversize 34 Item 2021.334 - plastic bottle, similar to a bleach bottle
RESTRICTED: This item is broken and VERY fragile. Handle with *extreme* care.
Correspondence
Box 1 Bakelite 1950-1953 (2 folders)
Box 1 Ball Brothers company 1952-1953
Box 1 Bloomfield 1971-1973
Box 1 Jules Montenier Hubbard Products Co. 1950-1954
Box 1 Owens-Illinois Co. 1950-1954 (2 folders)
Box 1 Plax and Monsanto 1950-1988 (6 folders)
Box 24 Schmalbach Lubaca 1985-1988
Box 1 Sindaplax 1980-1981
Box 1 T.C. Wheaton 1950-1956
Invention records
Box 2 Catalogue 1937-1962
Box 2 Originals P.1-P.159 1937-1940 (16 folders)
Box 3 Originals P.160-P.359 1940-1951 (20 folders)
Box 4 Originals P.360-P.519 1950-1961 (17 folders)
Box 5 Originals P.520-P.566 1961-1962 (3 folders)
Box 5 Originals S.5-S.17 1938-1940
Box 5 Working sets table of contents 1941
Box 5 Working sets P.1-P.149 1937-1938 (12 folders)
Box 6 Working sets P.150-P359 1939-1950 (21 folders)
Box 7 Working sets P.360-P.499 1950-1960 (14 folders)
Box 7 Working sets S.5-S.17 1938-1940
Box 7 Temporary records 1941, 1949
Legal material
Box 24 Agreements 1964-1965, 1970-1980, 1984-1988 - between Monsanto and various individuals or companies (4 folders)
Patents
Box 7 Index (2 folders)
Box 8 Bound copies 1936-1962 (3 volumes)
Box 24 Original certificates 1964-1970 (8 folders)
Box 25 Original certificates 1970-1971
Box 9 Photocopies 1945-1938 (11 folders)
Box 25 Photocopies, oversize 1936-1939
Box 10 Photocopies 1938-1959 (10 folders)
Box 11 Photocopies 1959-1979 (3 folders)
Box 11 Plax Corporation, plaintiff, vs. Precision Extruders, Inc., et al, defendants 1955 - court case involving patent infringement (bound volume)
Memorabilia
Box 11 Address lists
Articles by Eugene F. Phillips - mostly reprints
Box 11 Criteria for Packaging Carbonated Beverages in Plastic 1972
Box 11 Designing the Carbonated Beverage Industry's First Plastic Container 1971
Box 11 Keep Your Plastic Pop Bottles Free of Weak Spots 1971
Box 11 Safety Considerations of Carbonated Beverage Containers in a Failure Mode 1973
Box 11 Awards 1973, 1975, 1982, undated
Oversize 1 Awards 1986, 1987 - American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Oversize 33 Coca Cola six-pack carriers - flat cardboard, printed with "No Deposit No Return Plastic Bottles"
Oversize 29 Easy-Goer Coca Cola bag - souvenir/marketing item
Box 11 Lighthouse Museum exhibit
Oversize 30 Monsanto cloth bags
Box 11 Performance evaluations 1979-1985
Oversize 1 Plax cartoon
Box 12 Plax technical library accession book 1957 - list of books and names of borrowers
Oversize 32 Silk-screen for bottle label, humorous - "The Commissioner of FDA has determined that drinking more than 3,000 quarts a day may be injurious to your health"
Work books
Box 12 Bailey, James 1937-1941 (5 volumes)
Box 13 Bailey, James 1942-1947 (5 volumes)
Box 14 Bailey, James 1948-1951 (4 volumes)
Box 15 Bailey, James 1952-1955 (4 volumes)
Box 16 Bailey, James 1956 (1 volume)
Box 16 Caulfield, R. W. 1952-1955 (4 folders)
Box 16 Gutman, Ira H. 1950-1955 (2 volumes)
Box 17 Gutman, Ira H. 1954-1965 (6 volumes)
Box 17 Jesianowski, Raymond 1938-1939 (1 volume)
Box 17 X-1-BNR neck ring notes 1950-1951 - appears to be in several different hands (2 folders)
Box 18 Unidentified 1953 - miscellaneous notes
Box 18 Miscellaneous - business cards, letterhead, bottle labels, etc.
Photographs
Prints
Box 18 Album - various manufacturing machines
Box 18 Beverage bottles
Oversize 1 Bottles
Box 18 "Model A BDS" 1957
Oversize 1 Plax buildings 1990, 1992
Box 18 "Stripping action photos" 1957
Box 18 Miscellaneous 1957, 1970, 1984-1985 - mix of business and personal (7 folders) (6 folders)
Box 19 Miscellaneous 1987, 1997, undated - mix of business and personal (5 folders)
Box 25 Miscellaneous - includes old "PLAX COMPANY" building on waterfront
Slides
Box 19 Braintree, MA bottle plant - bottle line, can line, first LOPAC run, miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box 19 32-oz clear mold orientation
Box 19 Clear mold motorized [illegible] 1972
Box 19 Dallas Dr. Pepper can line
Box 19 Dole engineering aseptic
Box 19 Fall River, MA 1970
Box 19 Nashua, NH can plant
Box 19 Niles, Illinois bottle plant
Box 19 Puma lab, St. Louis 1971
Box 20 Saving bonds presentation
Box 20 Miscellaneous 1959, 1970-1972, 1975, 1980, undated (6 folders)
Transparencies
Box 20 Miscellaneous
Printed material
Box 26 Articles, microfiche 1947-1983 - microfiche cards containing articles on assorted topics; bulk is on mechanism and machine theory
Oversize 1 Monsanto circa 1955
Box 25 Monsanto circa 1955, 1964
Box 20 Monsanto 1971-1977, undated (2 folders)
Box 20 Newspaper clippings 1971-1989 (2 folders)
Box 20 Plax 1957-1962, undated (2 folders)
Box 25 Plax 1960-1963
Box 21 Miscellaneous 1957-1972
Oversize 1 Miscellaneous 1990, 1992
Subject files
Box 21 Agrawal, Puru - 2 papers on chemical industry
Box 21 Blownware 1975-1980 - competitors, critical issues, licensing opportunities, etc.
Box 21 Book illustrations, unidentified
Conferences
Box 21 Environmental and Safety Aspects of LOPAC Containers 1973 - sponsored by Monsanto; includes presentation by Phillips
See also Subject files: LOPAC containers.
Box 21 International Conference on Oriented Plastic Containers, 4th Annual 1980 - business and technical papers presented
Box 21 Monsanto Company Meeting 1969 - presentation to Coca-Cola and Monsanto
See also Subject files: LOPAC containers.
Box 21 National Packaging Forum ("PACK-INFO") 1972 - includes presentation by Phillips
Box 21 Symposium on Environmental Impact 1973 (2 folders)
Box 21 Unidentified - list of speakers
Cycle Safe
Box 21 Color measurements 1975
Box 22 Injection molding study 1975
Box 22 Interim report no. 10,096 1974
Box 22 Material properties L-600 1976
Box 22 Reports, miscellaneous 1971-1989, undated (3 folders)
Box 22 Systems analysis and evaluation of environmental impact of alternative beverage containers 1974 (2 folders)
Box 22 Tentative process synopsis 1974
Box 22 Miscellaneous
Box 22 Easy-Goer bottles 1969-1973
Oversize 1 Easy-Goer bottles - poster
Box 22 Hartford Empire 1987 - list of cases in which Hartford Empire was a litigant
Box 22 International activities of Eugene F. Phillips 1976-1977
Box 22 Interview queries 1970-1973
Box 23 Job descriptions, Monsanto
Box 23 John Wesley Hyatt Award 1950-1951 - nomination for James Turnbull
Box 23 Licensing agreements 1951-1964
Box 23 LOPAC containers 1971-1973 - appears to be related to the Environmental Impact conference and also the Monsanto/Coca Cola meeting, above
Box 23 LOPAC project review 1970-1971
Box 23 Monsanto Stonington plant 1971, 1989-1990 - history of the factory
Box 25 National Packaging Exposition 1953
Oversize 1 National Packaging Exposition 1953 - drawings and sketches of booth layout and design
Box 23 Plastics Hall of Fame 1987
Box 23 Plax Canada Limited 5 year plan
Plax history
Box 23 Amendments to certificate of incorporation
Box 23 Budget 1977
Box 23 Photographs 1959
Box 23 Plax Pioneers 1974-1984
Box 23 Timelines 1929-1984
Oversize 1 Timelines, mounted - printed and mounted on heavy stock, evidently for a display of some sort
Box 23 World Headquarters, Bloomfield, CT 1955-1982 - building design, color schemes, etc.
Oversize 1 World Headquarters, Bloomfield, CT - blueprtins, sketches, etc.
Box 23 Press releases, Monsanto 1953-1979
Box 23 Society of Plastics Engineers 1992 - Golden Anniversary publication
Box 23 Society of the Plastics Industry 1954-1959
Box 23 WADC Technical Report 53-133: Thereotical investigations of the mechanism of transferring materials through polyethylene 1955
Box 23 Miscellaneous
Video and audio recordings
RESTRICTED: This material is currently closed for digitization.

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