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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Nylons...ooh la la!

This Day in History: February 16, 1937

Nylon stockings in Sears & Roebuck, 1940
Tights, socks, stockings, hosiery have been around since the middle ages. Ever since the covering of the human body, legs have been covered as well. In the beginning, only men wore stockings since the nature of women's clothing included pantaloons. Back in the day, showing a bit of leg for women was considered scandalous. 

It was on this day in history, February 16, 1937 when a patent granted to Dr. Wallace Hume Carothers via DuPont, Inc. changed the face of tights, socks, stockings, hosiery forever. Nylon was actually created two years earlier in the DuPont research laboratories. The patent made it real!

What made nylon so special?

Nylon is plastic. Not only plastic but a plastic that will not burn. It is a thermoplastic silky substance meaning it can both melt and freeze. It can also be fashioned into filaments, thus, the beginnings of nylons for women.

EXPO New York 1939
Source: en.wikipedia.org
During the 1939 New York World's Fair, DuPont unveiled the world's first synthetic fibre. One of the marketing slogans of the time was the representation of nylon "as strong as steel, as fine as a spider's web." It was described as the fibre of the future keeping in tune with the fair's theme, "The World of Tomorrow."

Nylon proved to be very versatile...hog-bristle toothbrushes were replaced with non-bristled ones; nylons took the place of silk stockings; during WWII, it was used in the making of parachutes and flak vests; it became key in the manufacture of tires, fabrics, lingerie, bridal veils, carpets, and rope; it erupted as an essential ingredient in mechanical gears and injection molding.The list goes on and on...

Why should we celebrate? 

With all of that going on, it is no wonder why this is a day to celebrate. Okay, ladies, put on those nylons and show a bit of leg today for Dr. Carothers ingenious discovery!

DuPont advert for Nylon, 1948
Source: Flickr.com