1950 Congress establishes the U.S. National Science Foundation.

1951 Post World War II, the Allies break up IG Farben. Bayer, Hoechst, and BASF emerge.

1951 Linus C. Pauling correctly proposes the α-helix structure for proteins.

1953 James D. Watson and Francis H. C. Crick determine DNA’s double-helix structure.

1953 Stanley
L. Miller and Harold C. Urey make a splash in origin-of-life research, forming amino acids from gases they believed mimicked early Earth’s atmosphere.

1955 Frederick Sanger determines the first complete amino acid sequence of a protein, insulin.

◀ 1955 Melvin E. Calvin traces
the complete path that carbon takes in a plant during photosynthesis.

1955 Procter & Gamble scientists develop the first fluoride-containing toothpaste shown to prevent cavities.

1956 Fictional police chemist Bartholomew Henry (Barry) Allen’s lab accident turns him into comic book superhero The Flash.

1957 Bisphenol A is first used commercially to make plastics and epoxy resins.

1958 Mass spectrometry
is used to analyze amino acids and peptides for the first time.

1958 The first high-resolution protein structure debuts: John C. Kendrew and Max F. Perutz determine myoglobin’s structure with X-ray crystallography.

1959 Musical humorist Tom Lehrer first performs the chemistry song “The Elements.”

Download C&EN 90th Anniversary Poster Timeline (pdf)