C&EN 90th Anniversary 1940-1949 Timeline


1941 To show that his chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) coolant, Freon, is nontoxic and nonflammable, Thomas Midgley Jr. takes the stage at an ACS national meeting, inhales a lungful of Freon, and blows out a candle.

1941 Archer J. P. Martin and Richard L. M. Synge begin publishing work that would lead to partition chromatography, revolutionizing analytical chemistry.

1942 ACS renames its flagship magazine Chemical & Engineering News.

1942 Mustard gas, 1,1-thiobis (2-chloroethane), a chemical weapon in World War I, becomes the first compound used in chemotherapy for treating cancer.

1943 Silly Putty is patented. Credit for the invention is still in dispute.

1943 Experimenting on himself, Albert Hofmann experiences the world’s first lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) trip.

1944 Selman Waksman isolates the antibiotic streptomycin, the first effective treatment for tuberculosis.

▶ 1945 The U.S. explodes first atomic weapon in Alamogordo, N.M., and drops two bombs over Japan to end World War II.

1945 Felix Bloch and Edward M. Purcell independently discover nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).

1947 Erika Cremer and Fritz Prior devise the first gas chromatograph (GC).

1949 Dow Chemical introduces Saran Wrap, a thin, clingy plastic film for preserving foods.

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