Durez Plastics (originally named General Plastics) started off with five employees in an upstairs two-room loft on Young Street in North Tonawanda, NY. After being dismissed by DuPont during the recession of 1921, Harry M. Dent founded the Durez Company.
Durez had such simple beginnings that in its initial years Mr. Dent made personal deliveries in his car, selling phenolic resin on a small scale. In 1926, Mr. Dent expanded his operations and was so successful that a rival plastics company sent Pinkerton detectives to steal samples.
Durez continued to expand over the years and in 1955, became part of Hooker Chemical. At its peak, Durez employed nearly 1,100 men and women, eventually becoming one of the largest manufacturers of phenolic resin and molding compounds in the world.