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William H. Charch

From Ohio History Central

William Hale Charch invented moisture-proof cellophane.

Charch was born in 1898. He received a bachelor's degree from Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio. He also earned a doctorate degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In 1925, Charch accepted a position with the DuPont Cellophane Company.

At DuPont, one of Charch's first assignments was to moisture-proof cellophane. DuPont had purchased the rights to cellophane from a French company in 1923. DuPont officials believed that cellophane would have many more uses if it was waterproof. Charch succeeded in waterproofing cellophane in 1927. The new product's primary use was to wrap and preserve food, revolutionizing food storage.

Following his discovery, Charch quickly advanced in his career. In 1929, he became associate director of the <a title="Heritage Topic: Rayon" target="_self" href="">Rayon</a> Chemical Division and then director of the Rayon Pioneering Research Section in 1935. In 1947, Charch established Rayon's Textile Fibers Department’s Pioneering Research Lab at the Experimental Station. While serving as director of this office, Charch helped develop and find uses for Teflon, Dacron, Orlon, and Lycra.

Charch died in 1958. He is buried in Dayton, Ohio.