60. Midgley's Leaded Gasoline

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Manage episode 202339551 series 1405629
By @jackptaylor and Jack P Taylor. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Thomas Midgley Jr. was undoubtedly a great inventor, yet he was far from a great man.

Midgley was recognised by J. R. McNeill, a pioneer of the study of environmental history, as having “had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth's history“.

Midgley's inventions have contributed significantly to the 400,000 deaths from lead in the USA each year - with more around the world. On top of this his invention of Chlorofluorocarbons have wrecked our atmosphere

In this I examine: Midgley's background, how he came to invent leaded gasoline, how the scientific and regulatory community reacted, and what Midgley did next.

62 episodes