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Short Stories: Silly Putty

what is silly putty made from

During World War 2, there was an engineer named James Wright who was looking for a cheaper substitute for synthetic rubber. He was working at the GE lab in Connecticut where he combined silicone oil and boric acid and found his goal!

When he dropped the acid in, he got a substance that was stretchable and bouncier than regular rubber. However, the people he was doing the research for weren’t impressed.

invention of silly putty

A few years later, a businessman named Peter Hodgson came into contact with it. He gave it out at a party and it went over very well! He decided to market the substance as a toy and called it “Silly Putty”. Now it is an extremely popular toy and has evolved into a useful tool for all kinds of small repairs. It is even used on spacecraft to keep things from floating away!


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Here at Tresca, we’re ready to help you with your next invention & engineering project. We’d love to talk about your next project. If you want to learn more about how our team can help you during the engineering process, please contact us today to discuss how we can work together.


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