The market development process set off rumors in the textile industry about the new fiber. DuPont kept quiet until the
nylon patent was issued in September 1938. The Seaford plant was authorized on October 12, and two weeks later, Stine
announced nylon in a nationwide broadcast.
On December 15, 1939, production started on the plant -- the first ever designed for an operation never before
undertaken. It would cost DuPont $8 million, one-sixth of its 1938 net earnings.
Nylon was a best seller from the outset. Prior to the start-up of Seaford, DuPont had put 4,000 pairs of stockings on
sale in Wilmington. They sold out in three hours. Seven months later, the company put 4,000,000 pairs on sale nationally.
These sold out in four days. The name "nylon," intended to be a generic designation of a class of polymers, became another
word for stockings.
Today nylon comprises 20 percent of the world's manufactured fiber production, which in turn is almost half the total of
all fiber production. Worldwide, eight billion pounds of nylon are produced each year -- one and half pounds for every person