Wallace Hume Carothers

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Carothers, Wallace Hume


Born Apr. 27, 1896, in Burlington, Iowa; died Apr. 29, 1937, in Wilmington, Del. American scientist in the field of polymer chemistry and technology. Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (1936).

Carothers graduated from the University of Illinois in 1921, then taught organic chemistry at several American universities (1921–28). He became chief chemist at the research laboratory of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company in 1928. In 1931, together with J. A. Nieuwland, Carothers synthesized a chloro-prene rubber—neoprene. He produced synthetic musk for the perfume industry in 1932. Carothers formulated a method of preparing polyamide for the production of synthetic nylon fiber in 1937. He aided the transformation of polymer chemistry into an independent field of organic chemistry. Carothers also proposed a theoretical substantiation for polycondensation and introduced the concepts of monomer functionality and linear and three-dimensional polycondensation into the chemistry of polymers.


High Polymers, vol. 1: Collected Papers of W. H. Carothers on HighPolymeric Substances. Edited by H. Mark and G. S. Whitby. NewYork, 1940.