The NylonRevolution

Aero’s Nylon Revolution

How Aero founder Paul Frederick Tuerk transformed his wartime experience with nylon into pioneering nylon tarps

In 1949, Aero Industries launched an innovative waterproof, vinyl-coated nylon product line, perhaps inspired by Aero Founding Father Paul Tuerk’s experience at Real Silk Hosiery, where he was exposed to the ground-breaking material. See how nylon, which caused literal riots in ladies’ fashion and helped win World War II, helped revolutionize Aero products.

Created in 1937, nylon immediately shook up the ladies’ hosiery business. Stretchy and durable, even through washing and drying, nylon quickly replaced fussy silk. Fashionable women drawn to nylon’s ease and economy snapped up the new product, often clearing shelves within two days of being stocked.

By 1939, Germany invaded Poland, and nylon facilities, like Real Silk Hosiery where Aero Industries founder Paul Tuerk worked, shifted to manufacturing parachutes and other military products to support Allied forces in World War II. When the war ended, nylon stockings returned to the stores, triggering riots as thousands of women squabbled for the limited supply.

Perhaps inspired by Paul’s knowledge of nylon hosiery, Aero Industries launched an innovative waterproof, vinyl-coated nylon product line. Most tarps were created from canvas, which could tear in high winds and become extremely heavy when wet. The new nylon option offered strength and water protection, while still being lightweight.

When Aero’s vinyl-coated nylon tarps hit the market in 1949, eager customers lined up to buy the innovative product. It seems everyone from housewives to truck drivers wanted the easy-care material known for its ability to follow contours while being pliable, supple and extremely resistant to tearing.

Today Aero’s use of advanced metal alloys, lightweight designs and durable fabrics, like hurricane-tested mesh, ensure our products continue to be the best on the market.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Ladies loved the ease of nylon hosiery, so much so that there were long lines, and sometimes riots when the product was in short supply. (Image credit: U.S. Department of Energy)

Nylon played an important role in World War II. Nylon hosiery was collected to be reprocessed into parachutes and other military items. (Image credit: Office of War Information/Library of Congress)

From its introduction in 1937, nylon swiftly became a sought-out material for ladies’ hosiery. Because it is easy care and low cost, nylon replaced silk as a top product. (Image credit: Tranquil Garden, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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