The October in Sol-Gel (and Materials Chemistry) History

Eugene George Rochow (Born 4 October 1909):
American pioneer in the development of silicone chemistry, who developed the “Rochow” process now used to produce organosilicon compounds on an industrial scale. He is also known for developing, in partnership with A. Louis Allred, the Allred-Rochow electronegativity scale. His work, which led to 38 US patents, in addition to 160 publications and books, has been recognised by the Frederic Stanley Kipping Award in Organosilicon Chemistry (1965) and the Perkin Medal (1962; highest honour in American industrial chemistry), among other accolades (see Frederic Stanley Kipping Award in Silicon Chemistry American Chemical Society (, SCI America – Perkin Medal (, Eugene Rochow, 92 Harvard Gazette, October in Chemistry (

Ruth Mary Rogan Benerito (Died 5 October 2013; born 12 January 1916):
American inventor and chemist known for her work with cotton-based textiles. She developed approaches for functionalising cotton fibres by inserting short crosslinking organic molecules between individual fibres, which rendered the fabric wrinkleresistant. Her work, which generated 55 patents, also led to strategies for imparting stain and flame-resistance to such materials. Her achievements were recognised through numerous awards, including the Garvan Medal (1970) and Induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2008) (see Ruth Benerito | Science History Institute and Ruth R. Benerito – Wikipedia).

Alfred Bernhard Nobel (Born 21 October 1833):
Swedish chemist and inventor who bequeathed his fortune to establish the annual Nobel prizes for recognising those who “conferred the greatest benefit to humankind”. He filed his first patent when only 24 years of age and held 355 patents in his lifetime. His most famous invention was dynamite, which was patented in 1867 and provided miners and infrastructure developers with a safer way to harness the explosive properties of nitroglycerine. The element Nobelium was named in his honour and his legacy is also preserved through companies such as Dynamit Nobel and Akzo Nobel, which were formed via mergers from companies which he founded (see Alfred Nobel – his life and work –, Alfred Nobel Wikipedia and Alfred Nobel | Biography, Inventions, & Facts | Britannica).

Otto Wichterle (Born 27 October 1913):
Czech chemist best known for the invention of modern soft contact lenses. He has co-authored around 180 patents and 200 publications. An asteroid (number 3899) was named in his honour in 2006, in recognition of his achievements, and Google celebrated the 108 th anniversary of his birth in 2021 with a doodle on its homepage (see Otto Wichterle – Wikipedia, Otto Wichterle – Contact Lens Museum ( and Politically Unreliable: The State v. Otto Wichterle | Science History Institute).