Honoring Eastman team members past, present and future
The Old Hand stands in front of Eastman’s global headquarters in Kingsport, Tenn., as a celebration of our 2020 centennial. The stainless steel structure depicts a hand manipulating a methanol molecule and represents the many hands that have guided us and the many hands that will lead us through the next century and beyond. In honor of the company’s beginnings, a smaller sculpture of an acetic acid molecule sits in front of Building 215.
Old Hand stainless steel structure in Kingsport TN

The Old Hand is emblematic of the creativity, vision, teamwork and skill of the dedicated employees of Eastman’s “Big Shop” who created it. It signifies the tens of thousands of hands working daily around the world to make Eastman the best possible version of itself and to fulfill its moral purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way.

The Old Hand was unveiled on Monday, August 9, 2021.

Relive the experience below.

Get to know the team that created it.

“A company is nothing without its people, and the centennial sculpture honors the thousands of people who have built our company over the past 101 years,” said Mark Costa, Eastman’s board chair and CEO. “To have a sculpture like this –– conceived, designed, built and fabricated by our people as a gift to future generations — is a testament to the character of our employees.”

The Old Hand — a common reference to those with deep experience and mastery of their trade — stands 23 feet tall, 9 feet wide, 25 and a half inches long and extends 15 feet. The hand/arm consists of 300 plates welded together, while the methanol molecule consists of 192 individual plates. Together, the sculptures weigh more than 6,000 pounds.

The Old Hand honors Eastman’s beginnings distilling methanol from wood pulp. Methanolysis will play a significant role in the company’s future as it builds one of the world’s largest plastic-to-plastic molecular recycling facilities in Kingsport. Acetic acid, which continues to be critical to the production of several products manufactured at the Kingsport site, was selected as the molecule for the smaller sculpture.