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Who Invented Nylon

Nylon is a group of manmade polymers used for a number of products. Nylon was first invented to be a manmade replacement for silk, but today the fibers are used for many products such as fabric, rope, carpet, seatbelts, fishing line and much more. Solid nylon can also be used for a number of purposes such as mechanical parts. Since its invention in 1935 it has become one of the most commonly used polymers in the world. Let’s find out who invented this important material.

Who Invented Nylon
Nylon was invented by American chemist Wallace Carothers who, working with Gerard Berchet, produced the first nylon on Feburary 28, 1935. Carothers worked at the research facility for the American chemical company DuPoint. The substance he created from hexamethylenediamine and adipic acid was originally known as polyamide 6-6. A number of other chemists and engineers were assigned to the project and Carothers’ discovery was refined into the product we now know as nylon.

The first commercial use for the product was for the bristles of a toothbrush in 1938. However, nylon became famous in 1940 with the invention of nylon stockings. These were a huge success and today many people still refer to stockings as “nylons.” Nylon was also a very important material during World War II where it was used to make parachutes, tires, ropes, tents and other military supplies.

Did you know?
Carothers suffered with serious depression and would often go missing from his work for periods of time. Sadly, he committed suicide on April 29, 1937, and never saw the affect that his invention had on the world.

Nylon was patented by DuPoint, but other companies got around this by producing a slightly different type of nylon.

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