Issue Date: May 10, 2010
Field H. (Stretch) Winslow
Field H. (Stretch) Winslow, 93, was a retired Bell Laboratories chemist who was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame posthumously in March for his work in developing a polymer cable sheath that made universal telephone service possible. He died on Dec. 16, 2009.
Born in West Rutland, Vt., Winslow earned an undergraduate degree from nearby Middlebury College in 1938 and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1943. He then worked on the Manhattan Project.
Winslow joined Bell Labs in 1945, becoming head of R&D for both polymers and organic chemistry. Along with colleagues Lincoln Hawkins and Vincent Lanza, Winslow developed additives for stabilizing polyethylene so that it could be used to coat communications cable. Prior to this work, polymers designed to protect cable deteriorated rapidly, unable to withstand environmental factors. The sheathing is still used worldwide to protect fiber-optic and electrical communications cable.
Winslow became one of the founding editors of the ACS journal Macromolecules in 1968. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1942.
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