Manufactured Fibers - Nylon

For most of us, Nylon has been around for ever.  For the most part, all of the tents that I own are made out of nylon. But, prior to 1931, if you wanted to purchase anything that was made of or contained nylon, you couldn't... it was not invented yet.

In 1931 American chemist Wallace H. Carothers told the world about a new fiber he called "66". It was later named nylon and nicknamed the "miracle fiber". Nylon was made from petro-chemicals, which are found in petroleum and natural gas.

The first experiments used nylon as sewing thread, in parachute fabric, and in women's hosiery. But in December 1941, the United States entered World War II and every bit of nylon was needed for parachutes, tires, tents, ropes, ponchos, and other military supplies.  It was even used for high-grade paper for U.S. money.

After the war, the demand for nylon stockings was so enormous that almost all nylon was made into hosiery.  By the end of the 1940s, nylon also was being used in carpets and automobile seats.

Textile Merit Badge Book, pg 23 | Photo Credit: @troop2riverside

Build A Tent From 1939

From the 4th edition of the Boy Scouts of American Handbook printed in 1939, page 488 offers some great tent handicraft projects. Usually made out of canvas, these tents were very basic, but effective designs for scouts to build themselves. For the most part, Scouts now a days do not know the art form of making your own tent. Instead, with prices being so low, it is more cost effective and easier to just go to the store and purchase your three man, nylon, waterproof tent for about twenty five dollars. A fun and less expensive variation, if looking at experiment in making your own tent, is using tarps.

Open Outing Tent With Hood -- This can be made from thirteen yards of 8 oz. duck canvas, which costs very little.

A Tent For Mosuito Country -- Offered by the editor as being especially adapted for use in mosquito country in hot weather. Tent has florr cloth and weather flaps over cheese-cloth windows, and two puckering-string round doors, also with flaps.