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Herman E. Schroeder

Herman Elbert Schroeder died November 28, 2009 at Stonegates, Greenville DE.

He delighted in family, friends and colleagues worldwide, nature, photography, and exploring other cultures, but above all, science. He explained, "forces which impel me are largely the compulsion to look for the new, to change for the better, be it by finding better ways to do things or by inventing products to make the world function better. Gratifyingly, these often make the world aesthetically more pleasant and sometimes cleaner." Born in Brooklyn in 1915, he graduated from Polytechnic Country Day School 1932, Harvard AB 1936, AM 1937, PhD 1939. After joining DuPont in 1938, he developed the first practical adhesive for bonding rubber to nylon for B29 bomber tires, discovered light-fast dyes for cotton, led development of dyes for polyester and acrylic fibers, and served as DuPont's Director of Research and Development for synthetic rubbers and plastics from 1963-1980. Herman contributed to the development of a variety of specialty elastomers including DuPont's pioneering work on polyetherurethanes which led to ADIPRENE, CORFAM and LYCRA; the first sulfur-curable ethylene propylene rubber NORDEL; HYTREL thermoplastic polyetherester; VITON and KALREZ fluoro-elastomers; and VAMAC ethylene acrylic elastomer. He held 37 patents, published 40 papers, and edited treatises on thermoplastic elastomers. He served on advisory groups for the British High Polymer Institute, Harvard University, Industrial Research Institute, International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers, National Science Foundation, Smithsonian Institution, Textile Research Institute, University of Delaware Research Foundation, US Armed Forces, US Department of Commerce, and Winterthur Museum. To help preserve art treasures for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he gave technical advice on chemical reactions and their detrimental effect over time. He was honored by the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers, and received the Charles Goodyear Medal from the American Chemical Society. DuPont awarded him the Lavoisier Medal for Inspirational Research Leadership in 1992.

He is predeceased by beloved wife Elizabeth and daughter and son-in-law, Nancy Carolyn and Dennis Tarczy and dear sister, Rose Brady. Survivors include two sons Edward Schroeder (Carol), Peter Schroeder (Linda) and daughter Martha Lewis (Charles), 7 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and many dearly valued friends.

Services will be private.

Donations in Herman's honor to your preferred charity are encouraged.

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Published in The News Journal on Dec. 6, 2009
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