As so often in the history of discoveries, they actually wanted to throw it away. That was in 1942 and the chemist Henry Coover, then 25, and his colleagues spent nights in the laboratory stirring this substance, from which they were supposed to make target sights for the rifles and cannons of the US Army. But the stuff was stubborn, couldn't be shaped and stuck everywhere as soon as it was exposed to air. From a chemical point of view, it was an acrylate, the binding ingredient that is used to make paint out of paint pigments that can be painted on. But completely useless for visors, the samples and the formula ended up in the basement.
Access to all STERN PLUS content and articles from the print magazine