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100th Anniversary

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The Time Capsule was officially sealed on April 28, 2010.

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Rubber Division, ACS Centennial Events

Throughout 2009, the Rubber Division, ACS celebrated 100 years of service to people and organizations associated with the rubber and affiliated industries. For the past century, the Rubber Division, ACS has been providing educational programs, technical resources and other vital services to employees and organizations by serving as a global resource center for networking and partnerships between academia and industry.

Rubber Mirror: Reflections of the Rubber Division's First 100 Years

Now Available! Click here 

Written by Henry J. Inman (Goldfinch Communications Inc.)

The Rubber Mirror documents the 100-year history (1909-2009) of the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society Inc. through the lives of the many people who created the organization that exists today. "This book will honor past and present members, manufacturers and suppliers alike," explained Ed Miller, Executive Director of the Rubber Division. "We are planning a launch of the book in Spring 2009, to kick-off our Centennial Celebration."

Rubber Mirror

The book is written by Henry J. Inman, a former newspaper writer and corporate public relations executive with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. "This is indeed an honor to document the storied history of an organization that has been an integral and active participant in the tire and rubber industry," said Inman. "I look forward to working with many people and organizations that have been and continue to be contributors to the Division." 

100 People and Innovations that Shaped the Rubber Industry

Complied by Christopher J. Laursen, Science & Technology Librarian

The Rubber Division, ACS was started in 1909 as the India Rubber Section of the American Chemical Society.  We asked our members and colleagues in the rubber industry to help us determine the top 100 people and innovations that have shaped the industry. These individuals are scientists, corporate executives, members of the Rubber Division, or any individual that has made substantial contributions to the rubber industry. The innovations are anything important that helped move the industry in a new direction or were previously undiscovered. In no particular order, here are the people and innovations:

  1. Adolf Schallamach made major contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms of tire traction, abrasion and wear. Schallamach's findings helped to elucidate the basic functions of tires in skid resistance and directional control, physics of tire wear and his work resulted in the production of the accelerated wear test rig which is used to evaluate tire performance.
  2. Alan N. Gent, Professor Emeritus of Polymer Physics and Polymer Engineering at The University of Akron. Gent has received many awards for his fundamental contributions to the physics of adhesion and fracture of elastomers.
  3. Alexander Parkes discovered the cold vulcanization process in 1846, in which rubber was immersed in a solution of sulfur chloride in carbon disulfide. No heat was required to vulcanize the rubber.
  4. Arthur H.Marks and Raymond B. Price invent the alkalai process in 1896 to reclaim rubber.
  5. Arthur Robert Payne had very early insights into the dynamic properties of rubber. He is well known for the dynamic strain effect known as the 'Payne Effect'.
  6. Asahiro Ahagon for finding a power law relation existing between extension ratio at break and modulus 100% (The Ahagon plots). These plots greatly simplify the study of aging of polymers in the field.
  7. Aubert Coran's development of the prevulcanization inhibitor Santogard PVI, which allowed tire manufacturers to keep mixed compound on the floor for longer periods of time. It improved not only the finished product but also allowed compounders to make more efficient production runs.
  8. Benjamin F. Goodrich established the B.F. Goodrich Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio in 1870 (the first of the four major tire companies established in Akron).
  9. Carl Otto Weber was the first scientist to carry out a scientific study of vulcanization and rubber in general.
  10. Carroll C. Davis was the first editor of Rubber Chemistry & Technology from 1928-1957. This is the leading international journal on rubber science published by the Rubber Division.
  11. Charles Cross (C.C.) Goodrich was the first chair of the India Rubber Section of the ACS in 1909. The India Rubber Section was the precursor to the Rubber Division. C.C. was the son of B.F. Goodrich.
  12. Charles Dufraisse who carried out pioneering investigations on the action of oxygen on rubber.
  13. Charles Goodyear discovered sulfur vulcanization in 1839 using India rubber, sulfur, and white lead with high temperatures.
  14. Charles M. Knight taught the first semester long course in rubber chemistry at The University of Akron in 1909.
  15. Charles Macintosh patented his process for waterproofing fabrics in 1823.
  16. Charles Marie de la Condamine who was the first westerner to see and describe how rubber was collected from trees and used by the Amazonian natives in 1735-1745.  He took the Indian words Heva and Cahutschu and coined the word "latex" to describe the milk from the tree. He was the first person to think that the material could be useful to civilized society.
  17. Chlorobutyl rubber, a form of more rapid curing butyl rubber, which was invented by James V. Fusco at Enjay Chemical Company., now ExxonMobil Chemical Company.
  18. Coburn Haskell and Bertram Work from the B.F. Goodrich in Akron, Ohio invent a golf ball with a wound rubber core with a hard rubber covering. The modern golf ball was born in 1899.
  19. David Spence was the first recipient of the Rubber Division's Charles Goodyear Medal 1941. Spence was noted his work in anilines as rubber accelerators and for his work with guayule rubber as a substitute for para rubber.
  20. David Tabor whose studies on the friction of rubber on glass were the beginnings of the science of tribiology.
  21. Earl Warrick from Dow Corning who used peroxide cured silicone to make the first useful silicone rubber. Warrick is also credited for having invented Silly Putty!
  22. Edward Bevilacqua who elucidated the thermal oxidative degradation mechanism of natural rubber in 1956.
  23. Edwin M. Chaffee who founded the first rubber company in the United States around 1830 (Roxbury India Rubber Co.) and invented initially the 2 roll 2 speed mill which could be heated or cooled and which is still the basis of rubber processing today.
  24. Elijah Galloway patented Kamptulicon in 1843, a rubber and cork based floor covering that was a precursor to linoleum.
  25. Fernley Banbury's patented the Banbury mixer in 1916
  26. François Fresneau, living and working in Cayenne in 1747, where he met la Condamine and was encouraged to research further into the origins and usage of rubber including its suitability for manufacturing in the West. Extensive studies lead to what is considered to be the first scientific paper on the subject of rubber and was presented by la Condamine to the French Academy of Paris in 1751 and published in 1755.
  27. Frank A. Seiberling founded the a major rubber company naming it after Charles Goodyear. Seiberling bought the rights to the Goodyear name thus opening The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio in 1898.
  28. Frederick Stanley Kipping, whose work on silicones in 1904 paved the way for the discovery of silicone rubber by Warrick.
  29. Fritz Hofmann invented the first synthetic rubber, methyl-isoprene. Hofman was granted German patent No. 250690 for the first "process for manufacturing artificial rubber" in 1909. At that time, Hofmann was a chemist at Elberfelder Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co, a company whose legacy is continued today by LANXESS.
  30. Gates Rubber Company team composed of Hal Tucker, Harold Schneider, and Ed Seo. In the mid 1980's, there started to be a high number of coolant hose failures in specific automobile types with low mileage. After much investigation, the Gates engineers were able to determine the failure mechanism which was the electrochemical degradation of the rubber compound. After the mechanism was discovered, compound solutions were discovered that would prevent this degradation. Electrochemical tests were developed and were written into specifications for Ford, GM, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and other automobile manufacturers.
  31. George Oenslager discovered the use of organic accelerators that substantially reduced the cure time of natural rubber in 1896.
  32. George S. Whitby was known for his work on plantation rubber and the development of organic accelerators for vulcanization. Whitby directed the rubber research program during World War II at the University of Akron.
  33. Granville Williams isolated isoprene from distilled crude rubber in 1860.
  34. Gustave Bouchardat heated isoprene with hydrochloric acid to produce a rubber-like polymer in 1879.
  35. Harry L. Fisher, chair of the Rubber Division in 1928, who appointed a committee to investigate the formation of local Rubber Groups. The first four groups were Akron, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles.
  36. Harvey S. Firestone who founded the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company located in Akron, Ohio in 1900. He was also responsible for many early innovations including the the first mechanically fastened, straight-sided pneumatic automobile tire (1904) and the first commercial "demountable rim" (1907).  In 1920, Firestone perfected a method of insulating tire cords against internal heat called "gum-dipping" and in 1922 factory production of the industry's first low-pressure balloon tire began.
  37. Heinz List (1912 - 1988) was a pioneer of self-wiping continuous mixing machine. His research in the field of continuous kneading led to his inventing the Ko-Kneader, which continues to be used today.
  38. Henri Bouasse whose work on the physics of rubber elasticity in 1903-1904 laid the basis for modern rubber physics.
  39. Henry C. Pearson started the trade publication India Rubber World in 1889.
  40. Henry Ridley was the first director of the Singapore botanical gardens in 1888. He developed the important agricultural techniques of selection and propagation as well as tapping, the method of extracting the rubber latex without destroying the tree itself. These scientific achievements made the rubber plantation and hence the rubber industry itself commercially viable. His innovations remain in use to this day.
  41. Herman F. Mark was widely known as the "father of polymer science."  His early work on focused on the crystal structure of natural rubber and other polymers in the late 1920s.
  42. Herman Staudinger was awarded the 1953 Nobel Prize for his work on macromolecular chemistry.
  43. Hezzleton Simmons was a pioneer in teaching rubber chemistry at the University of Akron. He was president of the University from 1933-1951.
  44. Hugh Lord, Founder, the founder of LORD Corporation. In 1919, he explored the potential of bonding rubber to metal to isolate and control shock, noise and vibration. His first project was a solution for the noise he heard outside his doorstep, caused by a passing trolley. His early ideas led to innovative bonded elastomer assemblies, chemical formulations, bonding processes, adhesives, coatings and more.
  45. Ivan Ostromislensky synthesized butadiene from alcohol and for his pioneering work on vulcanization systems without sulfur.
  46. James D'Ianni, a past chair of the Rubber Division and past president of the ACS, was noted for his work on synthetic rubber during World War II. D'Ianni donated $1.75 million to the University of Akron for research efforts in polymer science.
  47. James L. White started the Polymer Engineering department at the University of Akron in 1983. He is an internationally recognized expert on the mathematical modeling of rubber mixing and rheology.
  48. Jean Le Bras was known for his work on the oxidative action of oxygen on the double bonds of organic molecules and rubbers.
  49. Joesph C. Krejci, who developed the oil furnace method to make carbon black.
  50. John D. Ferry who is noted for his pioneering work on the understanding of the viscoelastic properties of polymers in the 1950s.
  51. John F. Palmer patented the tire cord in 1893 for B.F. Goodrich.
  52. Joseph C. Patrick who discovered the synthesis of the polysulfide elastomer, the first non-hydrocarbon synthetic elastomer. Thiokol is patented in 1929 and was the first commercial synthetic rubber.
  53. Joseph Kennedy, Distinguished Professor of Polymer Science and Chemistry at The University of Akron. He pioneered the field of cationic polymerization and his invention of the polystyrene-polyisobutylene-polystyrene thermoplastic elastomer is the basis of a biocompatible polymer coating on a drug-eluting cardiovascular stent, which has been implanted in about 5 million patients worldwide.
  54. Joseph Priestly is credited giving the name of India rubber to the material which he found was useful for erasing pencil marks in 1770.
  55. Karl Ziegler and Giulio Natta are awarded the Nobel prize in 1963 "for their discoveries in the field of the chemistry and technology of high polymers" (Ziegler Natta catalysts).
  56. Karl-Alfred Grosch, a pioneer in tire friction and wear phenomena.
  57. Leonard Mullins and co-workers who discovered the stress softening effect on filled and unfilled rubbers in 1947, also known as the "Mullins effect."
  58. Leslie R.G. Treloar who carried out the first general studies of the elastic deformation and swelling equilibrium of rubber.
  59. Lorin Sebrell who was the second person to receive the Charles Goodyear Medal from the Rubber Division in 1942. Sebrell was noted for his work on organic accelerators for vulcanization.
  60. Maurice Morton expanded the scope of the Rubber Research Institute to become the Polymer Science Institute at The University of Akron. He also established the PhD in Polymer Science program at UA.
  61. Melvin Mooney was inventor of the Mooney viscometer.
  62. Merton Leland Studebaker who became known as "Mr. Carbon Black" for his work carbon black at Philips Petroleum. He was an expert on its effects on the reinforcing properties of tire treadwear and rubber, and also on its pelletization during the manufacturing process.
  63. Michael Faraday discovered the empirical formula for rubber, C5H8, in 1826.
  64. Michael Szwarc and coworkers pioneered the concept of living anionic polymerization in 1956.
  65. N. Chapman Mitchell founded the Philadelphia Rubber Works in 1880, the first company that made and sold acid process reclaimed rubber.
  66. Nathaniel Hayward discovered the Solarisation process whereby a rubber sheet, when rubbed with sulfur on its surface and exposed to the sun did not go sticky but gave a 'dry' skin. It was this discovery which lead Charles Goodyear to consider that sulfur could be the magic ingredient he had been looking for to stop rubber degrading in the sunlight and thus preserve its shape.
  67. Nelson Goodyear, Charles' brother, patented the manufacture of ebonite (hard rubber) in 1851.
  68. Paul J. Flory was the winner of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the physical chemistry of macromolecules.
  69. Paul W. Litchfield from Goodyear Tire and Rubber patents the first tubeless tire in 1903.
  70. Peter Schidrowitz's discovery of the prevulcanization of latex in 1920 which influenced the modern dipping industry.
  71. Ralph Milkovich, whose work at Shell Oil in the 1960s prepared the first poly(styrene-block-isoprene-block-styrene) copolymer (Kraton). These were some of the most commercially successful thermoplastic elastomers of all time.
  72. Reverend Julius Arthur Nieuwland, CSC, whose work in acetylene chemistry provided the basis for the discovery of Neoprene rubber (Chloroprene) by Carothers.
  73. Robert F. Landel, who along with Malcom Williams and John D. Ferry, elucidated the Williams-Landel-Ferry (WLF) equation to describe the temperature dependency of viscoelasticity in 1955.
  74. Robert Schuster, managing director of the Deutsches Institut für Kautschuktechnologie e. V. (German Institute for Rubber Technology). He established this research institute in 1984 which has the leadership in Europe in the fields of research, development and technology of elastomers and elastomer products. During his career, he has supervised over 100 doctoral theses.
  75. Robert William Thomson (1846) and John Boyd Dunlop (1889) received patents for the pneumatic tire.
  76. Ronald S. Rivlin for his work on the mathematical theory of large elastic deformations, which became the basis for the theory of mechanics of rubber elasticity.
  77. Sabet Abdou-Sabet (along with Aubert Coran) patented Santoprene, often considered the first commercial thermoplastic elastomer.
  78. Sam Landers, R&D Fellow from Goodyear Tire and Rubber. Landers led a team of engineers that invented the Aquatred tire.
  79. Samuel Horne and his co-workers from B.F. Goodrich polymerized synthetic polyisoprene in 1954 using Ziegler catalysts.
  80. Samuel Peal is credited with taking out the first rubber patent in England in 1791. His patent specified that India rubber was dissolved in turpentine as a waterproofing agent for textiles.
  81. Shojiro Ishibashi who started the Bridgestone Tire Company in 1931. Ishibashi began manufacturing tabi (straw sandals) as rubber soled footwear because they were more durable. The popularity of the rubber footwear enabled him to prosper and increased his understanding of rubber technology. He envisioned his company producing automobile tires - a significant challenge since tires were only produced in Europe and America at the time. The first tire prototype was developed in 1930.
  82. Sidney Charles Mote who led a team of experimenters at Silvertown in London, UK in 1904, who discovered the reinforcing effect that carbon black imparted to rubber.
  83. Silica used as a filler in tires to reduce rolling resistance, which ultimately results in greater fuel economy. Michelin would launch the green tire revolution in 1992.
  84. Sir Henry Wickham who pirated 70,000 Hevea brasiliensis (para rubber) seeds from the Amazon to the Kew Gardens in London in 1876. The seeds became the basis from which Britain established rubber plantations in Southeast Asia in the early 20th Century.
  85. The Cold-Feed Pin Extruder invented by Dr. Engelbert G. Harms. Pin extruders revolutionized the tire industry and facilitated low temperature, low viscosity processing of complex radial tire compounds.
  86. The first rubber factory was established in Vienna in 1813 by J.N. Reithofer for the purposes of weaving rubber threads with silk, woolen, and linen.
  87. The first United States patent relating to rubber was taken out by J.F. Hammel in 1813 for an India rubber varnish which made shoes waterproof.
  88. The original Chemlok rubber-to-metal adhesive was patented in 1955 by Donald Alstadt and William Coleman of LORD Corporation.
  89. Thomas Hancock's invention of the "pickling machine" (rubber masticator) in 1820
  90. United States Synthetic Rubber Program, 1939-1945. The consortium of government, academia, and industry that responded to the need to develop synthetic rubber for the United States when supplies of natural rubber were cut off from Southeast Asia during World War II.
  91. Waldo Semon was a key member of the B.F. Goodrich team that worked on synthetic rubber (GR-S) during World War II. Semon also invented polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
  92. Wallace Carothers noted for his work on Neoprene (one of the first commercially produced synthetic rubbers) and nylon (the first completely synthetic fiber).
  93. Walter Bock discovered peroxy compounds to be effective initiators in the polymerization of rubbers.
  94. Wendell V. Smith and Roswell H. Ewart, whose work on emulsion polymerization for Uniroyal in 1948 is still used worldwide for the production of emulsion SBR.
  95. William B. Wiegand was the first scientist to propose a mechanism for the effect of fine fillers like carbon black.
  96. William Brockedon named Goodyear's rubber curing process vulcanization in 1842.
  97. William C. Geer developed the Geer oven aging text in 1916. This method was one of the first used to test the accelerated aging effects on vulcanized rubber.
  98. William J. Sparks and Robert Thomas from Exxon who invented butyl rubber in 1937.
  99. William S. Halstead was the first person to use rubber gloves during surgery in 1899. The gloves were made by the Goodyear Rubber Co.
  100. William Tilden obtained isoprene by cracking turpentine in 1882, but the process took several weeks to produce rubber!