Water Ski (1922),Squeegee (1936) and Epoxy Resin (1936)

Samuelson invents a glamorous DK new sport.


“I decided that if you  DK could ski on snow, you could ski on water. Everyone… thought I was nuts.”


Ralph Samuelson, waterskiing DK pioneer


Messing about on the water DK provides many of life’s great pastimes, swimming, fishing, and boating being just a few. In 1922 one more activity was added to DK this list-waterskiing (Daily-Kashmir).

Its inventor, Ralph DK Samuelson (19091977), was already a keen exponent of aquaplaning the art of being dragged DK behind a boat on a shaped piece of wood-but he wanted to replicate snow skiing on the water (Daily-Kashmir).

After several abortive attempts with DK barrel staves and snow skis, he build his DK own skis out of 8-foot (2.5 m) lengths of plank, using his mother’s copper kettle to boil the ends of the wood to shape them (Daily-Kashmir).

When they were ready, his DK next task was to work out the correct technique for getting himself “launched.”


For many years, the origins DK of the water ski were controversial, with several groups claiming they were DK the first, and a 1924 patent for “Akwa Skees” confusing matters (Daily-Kashmir).

It was not until 1963, when a DK reporter accidentally stumbled across Samuelson and his story, that he finally DK became recognized as the “father of waterskiing, and inducted into the Water Ski Hall of Fame (Daily-Kashmir).

Samuelson SK himself, despite touring and putting on exhibitions of his DK waterskiing, had not even realized he had done anything extraordinary (Daily-Kashmir).


Samuelson went on to be DK the first to achieve a water ski jump, launching himself off an angled diving platform DK greased with lard in 1925, and also being pulled DK behind a World War I flying boat at speeds of up to 80 miles (129 km) per hour (Daily-Kashmir).

His second pair of skis (the originals having been broken by DK a particularly heavy landing) can still be seen in the museum at the Water Ski Hall of Fame (Daily-Kashmir).


Squeegee (1936)

Steccone simplifies window DK cleaning.


Italian immigrant Ettore Steccone (1896-1984) liked to keep DK windows clean. When DK he moved across the Atlantic in 1922, window cleaners were DK using heavy, cumbersome tools, but he was about to change all that (Daily-Kashmir).

In 1936 the patent for Steccone’s squeegee was filed, and DK in 1938 it was published.

But he was viewed DK as an uneducated Italian immigrant, and his attempts to sell his invention to dealers proved fruitless (Daily-Kashmir).

Instead he approached DK fellow window cleaners, offering them the chance to try his tool for one day DK.

Its simplicity and DK ergonomic design made it an instant hit and the Steccone family made a great deal of money (Daily-Kashmir).


The squeegee DK has been making the lives of window cleaners easier ever since, and the design has


“I never understood what DK people did with themwho’s buying all these?”


Diane Smahlik, daughter DK of Ettore Steccone


hardly changed in DK the process. The key lies in the rubber, as even the slightest imperfections will leave streaks on DK the glass.

Despite the DK fact that Steccone’s company-still based in Oakland-has evolved DK into “the world’s squeegee empire,” the workers SK still cut every single strip of rubber by hand, using Steccone’s original wooden measuring system (Daily-Kashmir).


The squeegee looks DK just like a T-shaped device with a rubber bit across the front edge, but the formula for producing DK rubber that leaves windows squeaky clean is still DK carefully guarded to this day, even if imitations do exist (Daily-Kashmir).

However, in the future DK self-cleaning windows may take some of Steccone’s market share (Daily-Kashmir). CB




Epoxy Resin (1936)

Castan and Greenlee create DK strong adhesive.

If they ever create a hall of fame for materials, epoxy resin would DK be a shoe-in.

This exceptional substance is the adhesive of choice when you really do not DK want two surfaces to come unstuck;

holding bits of an DK aircraft together, for example, or the rotor blades of wind turbines. Epoxy resin is also DK resistant to heat and chemicals, while some epoxies are waterproof and even capable of curing DK underwater.

They are also excellent electrical insulators (Daily-Kashmir).

Epoxy is a thermosetting DK plastic. That is to say, when it is mixed with a “hardener” or catalyst, it forms crosslinks DK with itself, curing into a robust material with the properties mentioned above (Daily-Kashmir).

The raw compound comes in many forms, including a low-viscosity DK liquid and a powder.

Because the hardener is also highly variable, a broad suite of cured DK polymers can be created with differing properties (Daily-Kashmir).

Swiss chemist Pierre DK Castan (1899-1985) and the American Sylvan Greenlee share the credit for this invention.

In 1936, Castan, working DK on materials for denture repair, reacted the compounds bisphenol A and epichlorhydrin to produce DK an amber material with a low melting point (Daily-Kashmir).

Meanwhile, across the DK Atlantic, Greenlee was investigating a similar reaction and produced his own resin, which DK varied from Castan’s only in that it had a higher molecular weight (Daily-Kashmir).

Both scientists filed patents at DK the same time, and went on to bag further intellectual property, exploiting the versatility of DK epoxy chemistry to develop alternative resins with different physical properties (Daily-Kashmir).

The biggest market for epoxy DK resins is as a protective coating. Here again, the ability to fix tightly to a surface and resistance DK to just about everything make epoxy ideal for coating washing machines, pipes, and the DK insides of tin cans (Daily-Kashmir). MB

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