Somewhat Firearm related. Kevlar helped to make soft armor and bullet proof vests a reality for law enforcement. Did you know the inventor was a woman?

Stephanie Kwolek was the inventor of Kevlar. Born in 1923, Kwolek grew up in Pennsylvania. She attended the women’s college of Carnegie-Mellon University. Upon graduating Kwolek applied to work as a chemist at DuPont Company and was quickly hired. While Kwolek had planned to attend medical school, she enjoyed the work with polymer research so much she decided to pursue chemistry instead. In 1965, Kwolek created the first of a family of synthetic fibers of exceptional strength and stiffness. Kevlar became the best known of this family. For her work, Kwolek has won many awards including the National Medal of Technology, the Perkin Medal, and an induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Kwolek was one of the first women to be recognized with each of these honors. (Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution)



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  • randomswede

    Has she not already saved more lives than had she gone into medicine?
    As a doctor at least, I guess she could have been the researcher to come up with the cure for the common cold…

    • Bill

      And unlike doctors, she doesn’t have mistakes to bury.

  • iowaclass

    DuPont was so important to providing the world with gun ammo. Then they gave us the best practicable way of stopping a bullet. Interesting.

    • Jwedel1231

      I knew both of those facts, but had not put them together until just now. Very interesting indeed!

    • Bill

      I believe they are also big in the propellents and explosives sector.

  • A.WChuck

    Hero

  • Jwedel1231

    In recognition for her advances in polymers, she was awarded a medal.

    Puns, anyone?

    • Drunk Possum

      It was wrapped in Kevlar 😉

  • retfed

    This lady died within the last year or so, and all of her obits recognized her achievement and the lives she saved over the years.

  • mosinman

    truly a remarkable person

  • Jake Barnes

    *Aramid.

    • Mrdakka

      para-aramid 🙂

    • N E W T

      Dyneema

  • VF 1777

    I used to work at DuPont experimental station in DE and i remember everyone spoke of her very reverently, not just for kevlar, but apparently she really was an incredible person in many ways that everyone respected her immensely. I wish i was able to meet her. They dont make em like that anymore.

  • John

    All hail this awesome lady.

  • Bob

    Didn’t know about this lady. My sister is a strong feminist and will like hearing about her.

  • Budogunner

    I see a citation for the image, but what about that massive block quote?