What did James Wright invent?
James Wright was an engineer at General Electric who invented
Silly Putty in 1943. The invention of Silly Putty happened by
accident. During World War II, many of the rubber-producing
countries in Asia were being invaded by Japan. This made natural
rubber scarce and difficult to procure. Any rubber that was found
was used to make tires or other supplies necessary for the war.
General Electric hired Wright to try to develop a cheap rubber
substitute. In 1943, Wright accidentally dropped boric acid into
silicone oil, creating a substance with unusual elastic properties
that would eventually be marketed as "silly putty."