Technology Trivia Quiz

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9. Better living through science

In the 1960s, U.S. chemist Norman Stingley combined two substances — butadiene and sulphur — under heat and pressure to produce the material that made possible what well-known product?

A) The non-slip sole for athletic shoes
B) Pantyhose
C) The soft contact lens
D) The Super Ball

Your answer — A) The non-slip sole for athletic shoes — was incorrect.

The remarkably bouncy Super Ball appeared in 1965, and was another hit for the legendary marketers at Wham-O Manufacturing Co., whose past glories had included the Hula Hoop and the Frisbee. Stingley came up with the novel material — which he called “Zectron” — on his own time. He offered the invention to his employer, Bettis Rubber Company, but the brittleness of his original formulation made it appear unlikely that a marketable product would result. Wham-O, however, worked with Stingley to produce a superior version of “Zectron”, and in their hands the Super Ball became an instant success.

Click “Question 10” below to continue the quiz.

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