James M. Faria and Robert T. Wright
of Monsanto Industries co-invented Astroturf (U.S. patent #3332828). A
patent for astroturf was filed for on December 25, 1965 and issued by the
USPTO on July 25, 1967.
1950s: The Ford Foundation
studied ways to improve the physical fitness of young people. They observed
that rural folks were more active and fit than urban folks were.
Late 1950s: The Chemstrand
Company, a subsidiary of Monsanto Industries were developing new synthetic
fibers for use in carpeting. Monsanto was encouraging the use of carpets
in schools in conjunction with the Ford Foundation's Educational Facilities
Laboratory, headed by Dr. Harold Gores. Dr. Gores suggested that Chemstrand
develop the perfect urban playing surface, Gores knew about both the Chemstrand
synthetic fiber research and the Ford fitness studies.
1962 - 1966: The Creative
Products Group, part of Chemstrand's research organization worked on creating
the new playing surface. The surface was tested for foot traction and cushioning,
weather drainage, flammability and wear resistance.
The Creative Products
Group installs a synthetic turf called Chemgrass at the Moses Brown School
in Providence Rhode Island. This was the first large-scale installation
of a synthetic turf.
Judge Roy Hofheinz builds
the AstroDome in Houston, Texas. Hofheinz consults Monsanto about replacing
the natural grass with a new synthetic playing surface.
The Houston Astros'
baseball season begins on a Chemgrass surface now renamed Astroturf at
Fall 1966: The Houston Oilers'
AFL football season begins on more than 125,000 square feet of removable
Indiana State University
Stadium, in Terre Haute, Indiana becomes the first outdoor stadium installed
1967: Astroturf patented (U.S.
patent #3332828) - A patent for "monofilament ribbon file product" was
issued to Wright and Faria, of Monsanto Industries.
Inc. bought by Southwest Recreational Industries.
(all no longer available)
of Synthetic Turf
The invention of Astroturf came
about because of a 1950s push for improved levels of fitness for Americans.
History of Carpets
Countless innovations in fabric
technology came about during the history of carpets.
Patent drawings provided by the USPTO
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