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Wallace Hume Carothers (1896-1937), the American industrial chemist. In 1928, after lecturing in chemistry at various universities, he moved to the research department of the Du Pont Company at Wilmington. His object was 'to synthesize compounds of high molecular mass and known constitution'; an early success was Neoprene, the first successful synthetic rubber, marketed from 1932. He is most famous for his discovery of the fibre-forming amides or nylons and in particular Nylon 6.6 which has had much commercial success as a textile fibre. Despite his successes, Carothers suffered from depression, and soon after his marriage killed himself at the age of 41.
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