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Walsh

Fire-Resistant Fabric

Organic chemist Giuliana Tesoro made a number of advances in fiber and textile chemistry that sealed her place in history as one of the most prolific female inventors of all time. Over the course of her career she was awarded more than 120 U.S. patents.

Born in Venice, Italy, in 1921, Tesoro earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Yale University and went on to conduct chemical research for a variety of large chemical companies including Burlington Industries, American Cyanamid, Chemical Research Company and Onyx Chemical Company, now Millmaster Onyx.

She made advances in textile processing and organic compounds that have improved textile performance for everyday consumers as well as for manufacturing systems. Among her many innovations, Tesoro developed flame-resistant fibers, designed ways to prevent static accumulation in synthetic fibers, and created improved permanent press properties for textiles.

In 1982, Tesoro joined Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, New York, as a Research Professor in Polymer Chemistry. She brought 40 years of experience in industry to her teaching position and published numerous papers related to her research.

She was a founding member of the Fiber Society and served on the editorial board for the Textile Research Journal and on the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Fire Safety of Polymeric Materials.

Tesoro retired from Polytechnic in 1996. She died in 2002 at the age of 81.

[May 2008]

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