A Woman to Know: Stephanie Kwolek

All sorts of things can happen when you're open to new ideas. — Stephanie Kwolek

(image via Smithsonian Institute)

Stephanie invented Kevlar. By herself, and by accident — she'd been intrigued by the viscous solution her colleagues at DuPont Chemical just threw away after experiments. She kept the solution, tested it herself and showed it to colleagues. Turns out, it was hundreds of times stronger than nylon and other fibers. Now, 50 years after her invention, we see Kevlar everywhere: in bulletproof vests and uniforms; on ropes and suspension bridges; even in frying pans.

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