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#215516 - 12th Mar 2008 9:33am Thomas Midgley - Environmental disaster!
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
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Thomas Midgley, Jr., was born on May 18, 1889. He soon found employment with Delco, a company in Dayton, Ohio. In 1916, Charles F. Kettering, founder of Delco, assigned Midgley to eradicating the persistent and loud knocking sound that early automobile engines made. Midgley quickly discovered that the knocking sound resulted from the fuel and it properties. Several more years of research and working through the periodic table, led Midgley to discover that placing tetraethyl lead additives in the gasoline would eliminate the knocking sound. Midgley patented this new version of gasoline, ethyl gasoline, on December 9, 1921. Unfortunately, the lead caused deposits to form on engine valves, causing engines to cease operating. Midgley then added ethylene dibromide to ethyl gasoline, which prevented the lead deposits. This new version of ethyl gasoline was sold for the first time on February 2, 1923, in Dayton, Ohio.

Unfortunately, leaded gasoline proved harmful for the environment, and today, leaded fuel is no longer used. Midgley eventually became well aware of the harmful effects of lead exposure. In 1924, he left his job for a period of time to recover from lead poisoning. Upon returning to work, Midgley held a press conference, touting the safety of lead. Eventually, he recanted his endorsement of lead.

Over the course of his life, Midgley developed 170 patents. Ethyl gasoline and chlorinated fluorocarbons, originally used in refrigeration, were his two most famous inventions. In 1940, Midgley contracted polio, which left him severely disabled and bed ridden. To assist him in getting out of bed, Midgley designed a system of ropes and pulleys. Unfortunately, on November 2, 1944, Midgley became tangled in the ropes and suffocated to death.





Its amazing how such great inventions at the time could do so much damage. Of course, at the time, there was no real way of testing how bad the lead in petrol would prove, and no way of knocwing what CFC's would do to the ozone layer...
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#215526 - 12th Mar 2008 10:55am Re: Thomas Midgley - Environmental disaster! [Re: StuyMac]
Mark Offline


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
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I enjoyed reading that stuy wink

Nice one.

Ropes can be dangerous too smile
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#215528 - 12th Mar 2008 10:57am Re: Thomas Midgley - Environmental disaster! [Re: Mark]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
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Lol, but can you see the irony that his most basic invention is the one that killed him....
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#215530 - 12th Mar 2008 10:59am Re: Thomas Midgley - Environmental disaster! [Re: StuyMac]
Sanchez Offline

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Registered: 17th Dec 2003
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is it harmful then to chew solder over a period of time
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#215531 - 12th Mar 2008 11:00am Re: Thomas Midgley - Environmental disaster! [Re: Sanchez]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
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...depends if its on the soldering iron, and even then depends if the soldering iron is on.... raftl
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#215539 - 12th Mar 2008 11:21am Re: Thomas Midgley - Environmental disaster! [Re: StuyMac]
Sanchez Offline

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Registered: 17th Dec 2003
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lol, dam i forgot to turn it off, looks like i'm doomed
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#215541 - 12th Mar 2008 11:22am Re: Thomas Midgley - Environmental disaster! [Re: Sanchez]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
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Its an odd thing (but Im not totally shocked) to use for picking at your teeth think
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#215698 - 12th Mar 2008 7:25pm Re: Thomas Midgley - Environmental disaster! [Re: StuyMac]
MattLFC Offline
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Registered: 14th Aug 2004
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Nice one for posting that Chewy was excellent and very interesting.

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