48-25 Roy J. Plunkett, June 26, 1910-May 12, 1994
Side A: Roy J. Plunkett was born in New Carlisle, Ohio, and graduated from Newton Township High School in Pleasant Hill. He received his B.A. degree from Manchester College before enrolling as a graduate student in chemistry at The Ohio State University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1936 under the direction of William Lloyd Evans in the McPherson Chemical Laboratory. On April 6, 1938, while employed by the Du Pont Company to develop a nontoxic refrigerant, Plunkett discovered Teflon®, one of the most important polymers of the 20th century. On that day, Dr. Plunkett opened a tank of gaseous tetrafluoroethylene only to find that the gas was gone–its molecules had combined with another (“polymerized”) to form a solid material. Teflon has been used on cookware, the outer skin of space suits, nose cones of space vehicles, bone replacement, and much more.
Sponsors: The Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The International Paper Company Foundation, and The Ohio Historical Society