Dame S. Hamby

Born July 8, 1920 Macon, Georgia Died February 27, 2016 Raleigh, NC
Faculty member Fall 1948 – June 30 1987
Dean July 1, 1981-June 30, 1987

Dr. Dame S. Hamby, who served as dean of the College of Textiles from 1981 to 1987, passed away Feb. 27, 2016. He was 95.

A native of Macon, GA, he was raised in Cartersville, GA. Dame began his textile career sweeping floors part time for a cotton fiber plant in Georgia. He received a B.S. in Textile Engineering in 1936 from Auburn University and began work in 1937 at a Good Year Tire and Rubber plant in Akron as a textile engineer. Dame married Estelle Johnson in May 1943 and began a long a successful marriage. They were a team. In 1943 Dame moved to the Celanese Corporation of America where he was involved in quality control and technical service. He moved to a B.F. Goodrich plant in 1947. There he did research and development on industrial fabrics and quality control.

As Dean Campbell oversaw the expansion of the School of Textiles after World War II, he empowered his staff to find the best people available. Hamby joined NC State fall 1948. Hamby remembered teaching courses outside, weather permitting, during the expansion of the Textile Building, because the noise was so disruptive. (3, page 80)

He organized the Fourth Annual Conference of the Textile Division of the American Society for Quality Control. The conference met at the School of Textiles on February 4-6, 1954. Tours of local mills in Raleigh and Durham were offered on the first afternoon. On February 5 and 6 technical sessions were led by industrial speakers and Professor Hamby.

Peru Project

Hamby was one of at least 8 faculty and staff that traveled to Lima, Peru to teach textile basic courses, quality courses and set up a series of laboratories to assure quality control.

In 1956 was named Burlington Industries Professor of Textile Technology and supervisor of the Quality Control Division in the School of Textiles.

1959 As the Peru project began to wind down, Hamby began to focus attention on the need for quality of our own North Carolina textile yarns. The Quality Audit program was begun. (3) page 124-25

1959 In December, Hamby offered a two-week short textile quality control course to be held in May 1960.

The Quality Audit Program

The Quality Audit Program of the School of textiles had its beginning in the summer of 1959, when a trial audit of yarn quality was made for one of the large textile manufacturing groups in the Gastonia area. Mock 124 The trial led to a realization that a 40 per cent reduction in variation of yarn number and a 30 per cent increase in yarn strength was possible using the organized approach to yarn analysis. A co-operative approach soon followed between industry and the School. Yarn samples selected periodically at random were analyzed and presented anonymously to all participating mills. It was such a successful program that a former faculty member established a lab for profit and was able to get the legislature to shut down the School’s program because it competed unfairly with private enterprise. (3, page 124)

1960 Handbook for Textile Testing and Quality Control by Elliot Grover and Dame Hamby appeared. Both had worked extensively with the industry for over a decade and were convinced that quality was the number one issue in the marketplace. Each of the book’s 33 chapters covered a major topic related to textile testing and quality control. The authors explained that the book had been “designed for use by executives, technical personnel, and students. Each test has been discussed following the general pattern of why it is important, factors that influence the test results, and the technique of making the test.” The book proved to be an immense success. A second edition was published in 1966. (Grover and Hamby 1966) (3, page 127)

Figure First Quality Audit Meeting – Bill Stuckey back row bow tie under left light; Dame Hamby front row right end

Figure Department Head Elliot Grover and Dame Hamby show the new Handbook for Textile Testing and Quality Control.  NCSU Archives ca 1960

Textiles Extension and Continuing Education

In 1965, Hamby was appointed head of the Department of Textile Technology and in 1972, Director of Textiles Extension and Continuing Education. Members of the faculty developed short courses in the late 1960s. More than 13 courses covering yarn, weaving, knitting, textile testing and management were offered in Raleigh. Often industrial experts were invited to join the faculty and offer the extremely practical side of making theory work.

The late 1960s saw the introduction of distance education made possible by closed circuit TV within the building. Four classrooms were equipped to receive a lecture simultaneously. Professors Joe Porter, Dame, Peter Brown and Jim Klibbe developed a special version of TT250 -Fabric Formation. (3, page 132)

Continuing Education benefitted all. One particularly popular industrial participant was Herb Pratt of DuPont. Over the course of a number of years, he estimated that he spoke to over 1,200 people, thereby bringing technology transfer to 30-40 people at a time, making personal contact without traveling to those people one at a time. Mock 146.

The TOTE Program

The development of videotape as means of recording for later playback turned out to be the key to the Textile Off-Campus Televised Education program, developed in 1976 thanks to a special grant from Guilford Mills and the vision of Tom Russell and Hamby. (3, page 143)

Interaction with Industry

Hamby’s popularity with industry was unbelievable for an academic person. Years of helping industry attain higher levels of quality and less waste, made his reputation. Now it was pay back time. Dame hit the road and stated his case for upgrading the school. The “new” Nelson Building was forty years old. Much of the equipment was still the original installed when the program moved in in 1941 or expanded in 1949. The David Clark Laboratories housed Textile Chemistry in a 1930s building last updated in 1963. He asked, “What can the industry do to help us improve our quality?” In 1979 a visit to meet and greet new Burlington Industries chairman and CEO William “Bill” Klopman, soon resulted in a walk through by Klopman and Governor Jim Hunt. Soon, a special appropriation of $500,000 was added to the school’s budget. That gave a boost and soon Dame was in contact with many industrial friends to see how they could help lobby for additional support.

Renovate or Build a New School

David Chaney retired on June 30, 1981 and Dame became dean. Now he could personally lead the fight for new facilities or a renovation of the old. One by one industrial leaders came through the school, made equipment and monetary contributions and generally boosted the position of the school when going too the legislature for help in improving the school. Jim King of Cone Mills donated an Ingolstadt drawing frame in 1981. (3, Figure 10-1, page 161) In 1982, committees of industrial supporters met in the college where they could see first hand the situation. They enlisted the support of Lieutenant Bob Jordan and eventually money was approved to renovate or build a new facility.

Chancellor Bruce Poulton said a tract of land was available adjacent to McKimmon Center, a far distance from campus. Eventually all agreed to renovate Nelson Building and build a new wing between Nelson and Clark. A new western gateway to north campus was planned. Faculty committees met with university planners and architects. A revamped College was envisioned. All of that was dramatically changed when Governor Hunt donated 355 acres of state land to the university. (3, page 182) Located behind Dorothea Dix Hospital, the land was contiguous to the campus by a narrow strip of land at the corner of Varsity Drive and Avent Ferry Road. Quickly the university made plans to show the need for the land. The College of Textiles would move to that site and build a whole new building! It was not an easy decision. Many items needed clarification. The university stalled and said research would be paramount. Undergraduates would be secondary. Move or stay on North Campus? In a final vote of confidence in Dean Hamby, the faculty voted to stay on the old campus. A new dean, Bob Barnhardt was coming and he could make his mark. After consideration and more thought, the decision to move was approved by Dean Barnhardt.

Figure Dame S. Hamby in front of Nelson Hall with model of proposed Centennial Campus Building 1986. Cover of Textiles NCSU and the Industry Textile Bowl Program Copy right Simon Griffiths, NCSU Student Aid Association.

During his tenure, Hamby increased private financial support, reorganized the curriculum and forged closer links between the textile industry and NC State. There is no doubt that without his leadership, the College of Textiles would never have risen to such stature to warrant a new building, a new building that would be the envy of the rest of the campus and the world.


Even before retirement, Hamby garnered awards from around the world. During his career with the college he was active in professional associations and elected a fellow of the Textile Institute in England, The American Society for Quality Control, the American Society for Testing and Materials and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was named one of the Outstanding Educators of America, by American Men of Science and was awarded an Outstanding Alumnus Award by the College of Engineering at Auburn University. He was awarded the Institute Medal and Harold DeWitt Smith award. He was a charter member and served as chairman of the Textile Division of the American Society for Quality Control.

In addition to his academic responsibilities, he was in demand as a consultant to the textile industries of North and South America. While consulting in the Middle East he was instrumental in the design and construction of the mills to process Egyptian cotton. He was the author of several textbooks and numerous published articles in the field of textile quality control and statistical analysis of quality data. He was in constant demand as an expert witness in quality issues.

He received an honorary doctorate from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (now Philadelphia University) in 1984. Following his 1987 retirement from NC State, he remained committed to the college and involved with textiles, working with Hamby Textile Research Laboratories and as part-time director of the NC Textile Foundation.

He was a director of Tuscarora Yarns Company and an Elder in Milner Presbyterian Church. He was predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Estelle Johnson Hamby. Together they had two children; a daughter, Barbara Hamby Foell and her husband, D. B. Foell, of Sevierville, TN, and a son, Michael Hamby, his wife Dorothy and son, Scott.




  1. https://textiles.ncsu.edu/blog/2016/03/01/former-dean- dame- s-hamby- passes-away/
  2.  ASTM Standardization News, September/October 2016, page 54. www.astm.org/sn

Mock, Gary N., A Century of Progress The Textile Program, North Carolina State University, 1899-1999, North Carolina Textile Foundation, Inc., Raleigh, N.C., 2001.


  1. The importance of the textile industry in North Carolina and the School of Textiles, Dame Scott Hamby, School of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 14p, 1982?
  2. Handbook for Textile Testing and Quality Control by Elliot Grover and Dame Hamby, Interscience Publishers, New York, 614 p. 1960; second edition 1966.
  3. Effect of twist on some physical properties of continuous filament yarns, Dame S. Hamby, School of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 5 leaves, (42) leaves of plates: ill. 1953.
  4. Actualisation et evolution de l’enseignement textile: Lille, 25, 26 et 27 September 1975. Conference Internnationalee de l’Enseignement Textile (3d: 1975: Lille 114 p.1976
  5. The American Cotton Handbook: a reference and text for the entire cotton textile industry, 2 vol., 3 rd ed., Dame S. Hamby ed., Interscience Publishers, new York, ca 1965-66.
  6. Effect of twist on some physical properties of continuous filament yarns: supplement I. School of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 57 p., 1964.
  7. The analysis of variation of certain physical properties of carded cotton yarns, William C. Stuckey and Dame S. Hamby, School of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 23p, ca 1963.
  8. Handbook of Textile Testing and Quality Control, Elliot B. Grover and Dame S. Hamby, 614 p. illus., New York, Textile Book Publishers, 1960.
  9. The analysis of variations of certain physical properties of combed cotton yarns, William C. Stuckey, Dame S. Hamby, 1959.
  10. Textile processing of synthetics: continuous filament, Elliot B. Grover and Dame S. Hamby, 1951.
  11. Textile processing of synthetics: continuous filament, Elliot B. Grover and Dame S. Hamby, 1949.
  12. Dame S. Hamby, Keynote address, NCSU Founders’ Day Address, The Importance of the TEXTILE INDUSTRY in North Carolina and the SCHOOL OF TEXTILES, March 23, 1982 14 pages, NCSU Printshop.