• John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman


Neoprene is a truly synthetic rubber with a very wide range of uses, in some of which it is superior to natural rubber. Julius A. Nieuwland was responsible for starting the chain that led to its discovery. A native of Hansboeke, Belgium, he graduated from the American University of Notre Dame in 1899 and he decided to devote himself to a theoretical study of acetylene. In 1903 he was ordained, a year later he received his doctorate and returned to Notre Dame to resume his experimental work. In 1906 he noticed that a reaction occurred when acetylene was passed into a solution of copper and alkali metal chlorides; although no violent reaction took place, a strange odour indicated the presence of a new product.


Natural Rubber American Chemical Society Ammonium Chloride Religious Order Hydrogen Chloride 
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Copyright information

© John Jewkes, David Sawers and Richard Stillerman 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman

There are no affiliations available

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