Wallace Hume Carothers | American chemist | …
Wallace Carothers was born in Iowa, at the last gasp of the 1800s. He was to be shaped, and then to shape, the modern era, but he wasn't going to see it. The oldest of four children, he was always described as melancholy. Although he was a good student, and generally liked, he was closest to one of his sisters. They supported each other throughout their lives, including when Carothers went off to college in Missouri. He was still in school just when World War I broke out. So many young men went off to war that there was an acute shortage of faculty. Carothers had been supporting himself by teaching accounting, but when the war hit, the college made him, by default, the head ot he chemistry department while he was still studying.
Innovation Starts Here | DuPont USA
Wallace Carothers didn't live long. He didn't even live long enough to see his most famous invention put to work. But he did leave a lasting impression - especially on women's legs.
One of the biggest changes in the 20th century was the availability of artificial fibers. Nylon was first made in the 1935 by Wallace Carothers and polyester was invented in 1941 by John Whinfield and James Dickson. It became common in the 1950s. Vinyl (a substitute for leather) was invented in 1924.