Photo of The DuPont Company

The DuPont Company

  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation
  • Manufacturing

For policy and technology.

For policy and technology.

A scientist working for The DuPont Company was experimenting with gasses relating to Freon refrigerants in 1938. Overnight, a sample froze into a whitish, waxy solid.

Rather than discard the mistake, Roy J. Plunkett and his assistant tested the new polymer and found that it had some unusual properties: it was extremely slippery, as well as inert to virtually all chemicals, including highly corrosive acids. The accidental substance would later be trademarked as Teflon, and become a household name as the non-stick coating on cookware.

For over 200 years, The DuPont Company has pioneered the invention of novel chemicals, fibers, films, and plastics. A world leader in the development of polymers, DuPont developed neoprene synthetic rubber and nylon in the 1930s.

The introduction of nylon revolutionized the textile industry. Nylon women’s stockings debuted in the U.S. in 1940, and over 4 million pairs sold in two days. Nylon continues to be used in toothbrushes, carpets, and car parts, among many other everyday products.

By: Jennifer Santisi