What do catgut and toothbrushes have in common?
February 28, 1935: Wallace Carothers Invents Nylon
Wallace Carothers, an American Chemist, inventor and scientist working for DuPont invented nylon on this day in 1935. Of course like most inventions it was a long path that led to nylon.
Don’t know what that means? Just get some good old sebacoyl chloride, a bit of heptane, some diaminohexane and water. Do some fancy mixing, dip your tweezers in the interface of the mixtures and slowly pull them out to see a strand hanging on.
Rinse and repeat a zillion times. Nothing to it.
On a Side Note
In the mid-1940s, classical guitarist Andrés Segovia was frustrated with the shortage of catgut guitar strings. Partnering with the DuPont family and string maker Albert Augustine, after 3 years of development, quality guitar strings emerged to the joy of many cats around the world.
A short list of things made with nylon:
Acoustic guitar strings (also sitars, violins, violas, cellos)
Athletic wear like track pants & shorts, swimwear, windbreakers
Netting of bridal veils
Food packaging – boil-in-bags
Gears and bearings
Ski & Inline skate bindings
Electrical insulation / switch housings
Power tool housings