So, that’s a strong start to a career in ruining the world isn’t it? Being responsible for pumping lead in to the atmosphere for 60 years. But he doesn’t stop there. Oh no. In the late 20’s, producers of fridges and air conditioning systems had issues with the refrigerants they could use to cool things down. The compounds that were available were things like ammonia and propane, which were toxic, flammable or explosive, so not ideal to have in the home. Thomas Midgley started looking into the problem and seeing what he could do. He was a very bright chap and a natural inventor. They came up with a new type of chemical, the first of which was named freon, (we now call this family of chemicals CFCs, yeah, that’s right, the ones that destroy the ozone layer and are now banned……. whoops). He wasn’t to know though to be fair. How could you guess that a chemical you made in your lab to work in fridges would literally eat the ozone layer miles above your head and give people skin cancer for decades to come?
So he put lead in petrol and smashed a massive hole in the ozone layer. Thorough work there.
In his later years he contracted poliomyelitis which left him very weak indeed. Ever the inventor, he devised a system of pulleys and levers to help others get him out of his bed. His genius would eventually take him down too. He was found tied up and strangled by his own strings and wires. Some wonder whether it was suicide. Either way, what a mad and destructive life he lead. Get it? LEAD!?
â˜› Look At This Next – Aokigahara – Japanese Suicide Forest