Necessity Really Can Be the Mother of Invention

Les Edwards & Winfried BoenigkJoin The Conversation

Writing a blog is like playing with Play-Doh

Play-Doh The world is full of innovations that wouldn’t have come to fruition without determination, open-mindedness and sometimes, desperation. Play-Doh, for example, was created by a soap manufacturer who first sold the doughy material to rub coal heating soot off wallpaper. On the verge of bankruptcy after coal heating was phased out, the company reinvented its product as a child’s toy.

Another example is Bakelite, considered by many to be the precursor of modern plastics. It was developed by Leo Baekeland in 1907 as a replacement for shellac, a naturally occurring resin secreted by beetles. The Bakelite Company was formed in 1910 and remained a long-standing part of the Rütgers Group until it was sold in 2004.


Like these companies, Rütgers and Rain CII have long traditions of innovation, often driven by customer and supplier needs. In this blog, we’ll write about technical excellence and innovation in our companies and the industries we support, both as customers and suppliers. As evidence of our leadership, we’re putting the finishes touches on another technical paper that will be presented at TMS2014 in San Diego, a gathering of more than 4,000 business leaders, engineers, scientists and other professionals in the materials field.

We are in the midst of a true revolution in the petroleum industry with shale gas and shale oil that have been enabled by technology and innovation. On the aluminum side, Ford is tooling up to produce their next-generation F150 truck with an aluminum body, which is quite a remarkable development driven by a need to innovate to meet new fuel economy standards. In the coming months, we’ll talk about innovations like these happening in the industries we serve, as well as our own determined search for innovative solutions.


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