AT&T Tech Channel

About this video

Bell Labs polymer engineer F.H. Winslow explains how the molecule shapes of such substances as nylon, rubber, and cotton reveal why the substances behave the way they do. In the film, Winslow’s explanations are assisted by demonstrations and animation.

Winslow’s legacy is twofold — first, he has the 1961 patent for the Polymer Cable Sheath that coated telephone cables, as a replacement for the very problematic lead — which was toxic and unstable. His work in this area was in conjunction with Lincoln Hawkins and Vincent Lanza.

Second, he was the first editor of a very specialized journal: Macromolecules, all about polymers: resilient, complex molecular chains.

He came to Bell Labs in 1945, fresh off the Manhattan Project.

Footage courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ

Release date: 01/20/2012