Du Ponters and Their Cars
October 1949 - Rayon Yarns
by:  "Barney" Barnette
Do you drive a two-door Chevrolet, Ford or Plymouth sedan to work?  If so, you are the average Old Hickory Rayon employee, at least as far as your car is concerned.  If your present automobile is a 1946 or later model you belong with the two out of five employees who own a post-war model.  These statements are based on a recent survey of the plant parking lot which was made on a representative week day morning at about 10:00 o'clock.

This survey revealed some interesting facts concerning the preferences of you and your fellow employees in regard to your means of transportation.  On this particular day the parking lot contained 533 passenger cars, 6 station wagons, 11 trucks, three jeeps, two motorcycles, one motorbike and two bicycles.  Of the total passenger cars, 277 were four-door sedans, 60 were coupes and 9 were convertibles.  Surprisingly enough, black and colored cars ran almost equal with 265 blacks against 268 colored models.  Among the colors, various shades of blue are the most popular, closely followed by red, with grays, greens and tans about equal among the remainder. 

This survey further revealed that in both pre-war and post-war models more of our employees prefer Chevrolets with Fords running a fairly close second.  On the day of the check, 152 "Chevies" were counted, along with 106 Fords and 75 Plymouth.  Dodges and Pontiacs rated fourth and fifth in popularity with very little difference between the next four spots shared by Studebakers, Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Hudsons.  Al the other makes were present but in numbers less than ten.  The only one having the distinction of driving exclusive models were the drivers of a 1939 Hupmobile and an early '40 model La Salle.

The automobile has become synonymous with the American Way of Life.  In the world today there are approximately 39 million cars.  Thirty-three million of them are owned by Americans.  By this it can be seen that only a very few people in other lands own an automobile while we all know that a large percent of American families own at least one car.

But how does the Old Hickory Du Pont Rayon employee stack up in the ownership of new cars compared with the overall picture throughout the state and count?  According to figures furnished by the Nashville Automobile Club, there were 515,910 passenger cars registered in the State of Tennessee for 1948.  Of this number, approximately 20% are post-war models.  In Davidson County there are 58,524 automobiles presently registered with also about 20% having been manufactured since the war.  However, in our parking lot, out of the total 533 cars counted, 191 or 35.8% were post-war models.

According to a survey made last year by "Better Living" magazine, 72.8% of the male Du Pont employees own a car.  The percentage at Old Hickory is sure to run quite a bit higher than this as many of our girls drive their own car.  While most of us like to think of ourselves as an average American wage earner, the results of this survey would indicate that in respect to automobile ownership, both postwar and pre-war models, the Old Hickory Rayon employees are above the average.

However, regardless of whether you drive a sleek, chrome-trimmed model right out of the showroom or a faithful '29 model, it should be remembered that any automobile is only as safe as its driver.  Of course you should see that your car is always in good mechanical condition, but more important you should drive with the view in mind of living and avoiding hospitals.  It seems ironical that the automobile, which has contributed so much to our progress throughout the past decade, should during the same time become an instrument of death.  When you are driving remember your safety training, use common sense, be considerate of the other fellow, and continue to enjoy the pleasure that your automobile affords.


Many of the female employees are car owners.  Among these are Helen Owen, Winder Operator on B Shift, 2-B Textile.  Helen is justly proud of her first car, this '48 two-toned sedan.  Like the majority of Rayon Employees' cars, it is well equipped with seat covers, radio and heater.  This car has brought additional pleasure to Helen's leisure hours and she practices safe driving so that she may continue to enjoy herself. 

Having the distinction of driving an exclusive model, at least on the day of the parking lot survey, is Carl F. Henderson, Maintenance Electrician.  While this particular make is no longer being manufactured, Carl's 1939 model Hupmobile is still in excellent condition and as this picture indicates, is a good looking car.  Bought new by his parents, the car has actually been driven only 43,000 miles.  (Note: in the background you can see the parking sheds that were at one time available to employees.  The sheds were dismantled in 1956.  The shed appears in the photo below as well. )

On the day of the parking lot survey, this 1949 Studebaker "Land Cruiser," owned by Robert J. Allen and his wife, Virginia, both of A Shift, 2-B Textile, was the newest car in the lot.  It was right out of the showroom with only 179 miles on the speedometer.  There were 23 Studebakers in the lot and 9 of them were post-war models. 

Lewis Vance, Wringer Operator on A Shift, Plant One Spinning, could be called the representative Old Hickory Rayon automobile owner.  According to the record survey, a black, two-door Chevrolet is the most popular model with Rayon employees.  Lewis recently joined the ranks of those who prefer "Chevy" by purchasing this streamlined 1949 sedan. 




This is the road in front of Rayon which at the time was also Old Hickory Blvd. 

DuPont Drivers Excel in Safety
January, 1941, Rayon Yarns 

Our drivers are in friendly competition with the drivers of thirty eight other fleet operators in Nashville and Davidson County to reduce the number of accidents to commercial vehicles.  The contest on the whole has been very successful.  The accident frequency rate (number of accidents per 100,000 vehicle hours) is now 11.23 for all fleets.  The frequency rate was 7.5 in 1934 when the Nashville area won the national contest.  This was an exceptionally good year.  The higher rate for this year is reflected on the large number of traffic accidents of all kinds during 1940. 

Our fleet has already won five awards in sixteen 6-month contests, the last award being first place in the contest which ended December 31, 1940 - the fleet having driven a total of 49,589 accident free vehicle hours.  

1.  Village Driver - Pennington  2.  Plant Drivers - left to right:  Champion, Stalcup, Knight, Sanders, and Smith.  Absent:  Stewart and Hill.

3.  Plant Drivers - left to right:  Cockrell, Brown, Humes, White, Elliott, Etherly and Winters

4.  Village Drivers - left to right:  Starks, Cartwright, Hayes, White, Brinkley, Winters