Word of the Day : January 15, 2021
vulcanize \VUL-kuh-nyze\ verb
: to treat crude or synthetic rubber or similar plastic material with chemicals to give it useful properties (such as elasticity, strength, and stability)
Did You Know?
Vulcanize might sound like something Spock from Star Trek might do, but the explanation behind this word has more to do with ancient mythology than it does with science fiction. Vulcanization in its simplest form consists of heating rubber with sulfur in order to improve the rubber's qualities. The Roman god Vulcan (whose Greek counterpart is Hephaestus) was the god of fire and of skills that used fire, such as metalworking. So when Charles Goodyear discovered that high heat would result in stronger rubber, he called the process "vulcanization" after the god of fire. Goodyear developed the idea in 1839 and acquired a patent for it in 1844.
Aired January 15, 2021
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