Eșecuri de succes – oricine poate fi un succes

Plastilina, bat-o vina!

Silly Putty was developed during World War II as a potential rubber substitute.World War II ran on rubber. From tanks to jeeps to combat boots, the Allied Forces needed an uninterrupted flow of rubber to supply fresh troops and vehicles to the front lines. 

Then, in late 1941, Japan invaded Southeast Asia — a key supplier of America’s rubber — and what was once a plentiful resource quickly became scarce. Americans pitched in, donating household rubber (think old raincoats and hoses) to help the war effort, but it wasn’t enough. So scientists set to work finding an alternative

A pair working separately at Dow Corning and General Electric independently developed a silicone oil/boric acid mixture that appeared promising. It was easily manipulated and could even bounce on walls, but in the end its properties weren’t similar enough to rubber to be useful in the war.

U.S. government labs eventually found a workable rubber substitute using petroleum, but the previously developed “nutty putty” stuck around until it fell into the hands of advertising consultant Peter Hodgson. Sensing an opportunity, Hodgson bought manufacturing rights, renamed it “Silly Putty,” and stuck some of it inside plastic eggs just in time for Easter 1950. 

But it wasn’t until Silly Putty’s mention in an issue of The New Yorker later that year that sales exploded, with Hodgson eventually selling millions of this strange, non-Newtonian fluid (fluids whose viscosity changes under stress; ketchup and toothpaste are other examples). Since then, Silly Putty has found various serious uses, from teaching geology to physical therapy, and even took a ride on Apollo 8 in 1968, when it was used to keep the astronaut’s tools secure. A pretty impressive résumé for a substance that was initially considered a failure.

Categories: Articole de interes general

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