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Inventors Astroturf History

Astroturf U.S. patent #3332828By Mary Bellis

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.

1964: 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.

1965: Judge Roy Hofheinz builds the AstroDome in Houston, Texas. Hofheinz consults Monsanto about replacing the natural grass with a new synthetic playing surface.

1966: The Houston Astros' baseball season begins on a Chemgrass surface now renamed Astroturf at the AstroDome.

Fall 1966: The Houston Oilers' AFL football season begins on more than 125,000 square feet of removable Astroturf (AstroDome).

1967: Indiana State University Stadium, in Terre Haute, Indiana becomes the first outdoor stadium installed with Astroturf.

1967: Astroturf patented (U.S. patent #3332828) - A patent for "monofilament ribbon file product" was issued to Wright and Faria, of Monsanto Industries.

1986: Astroturf Industries, Inc. formed.

1994: Astroturf Industries, Inc. bought by Southwest Recreational Industries.

Astroturf Competitors
(all no longer available)

Tartan Turf
Cam Turf
Instant Turf
Stadia Tur
Grass Sport
History of Synthetic Turf
The invention of Astroturf came about because of a 1950s push for improved levels of fitness for Americans.
Astroturf Timeline
Astroturf Technical Information
Buy Astroturf

Related Innovations
History of Fabrics
The 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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