‘The Other Wyeth’ Forged His Own Legacy as Inventor of Plastic Soda Bottles  

Image via iStock.

When hearing the name Wyeth, Chadds Ford landscape artist Andrew Wyeth might come to mind. But his other brother, Nathaniel made an impact on society thanks to his crafty skills, writes Mark Dixon for Main Line Today.  

Originally named after his father, Newell or N.C. Wyeth a famous illustrator and painter, Nathaniel demonstrated nimble engineering skills as a young child. His family found him moving his baby coach by turning the wheels. It was that moment that made his parents realize he was destined to be an engineer.  

“I don’t know why we should encumber this boy with an artist’s name when he’s undoubtedly going to be an engineer,” said N.C. “Look at his understanding of those wheels and the way he’s moving that coach!” 

Newell became Nathaniel, after his engineer uncle. After earning his bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Pennsylvania, Wyeth landed a job at Dayton-based Delco, an auto-parts company. He quickly got promoted to work on creating new concepts and devices and then started his career at DuPont in 1936.  

One of his flagship inventions was the plastic soda bottle which took 10,000 attempts to make. He was able to successfully replace polypropylene with polyethylene terephthalate which gives it more elasticity. This invention rendered most glass bottles obsolete.  

Nathaniel invented over 25 different products over the course of his career.   

Read more about the Chadds Ford inventor in Main Line Today. 


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