|Hula Hoop Image by Eren Emre Kanal|
In June of 1951, Phillip's researchers Paul Hogan and Robert Banks were looking for a better method to convert natural gas into gasoline. While experimenting with catalysts, they noticed a solid white powder that was clogging up their instruments. After looking closely at the newly discovered substance, they immediately switched the focus of their research and developed the plastics that would help transform the latter half of the 20th century.
Phillips introduced high-density polyethylene in 1954 under the brand name Marlex. While the new plastic would eventually be used in everything from baby bottles to automotive bumpers, it was the Hula Hoop which brought widespread popularity to the new material.
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