Earl Warrick

Photo courtesy of the Midland Center for the Arts.

Dr. Warrick worked for 33 years at Dow Corning and developed 44 patents in his career. In 1990, he published a book titled Forty Years of Firsts: The Recollections of a Dow Corning Pioneer.  He is most known as one of the inventors of Silly Putty. 

During World War II, Warrick was working on a substitute for rubber, a valuable wartime commodity. According to the story as told by the Dow Corning Corporation, one interesting substance he discovered was considered a mistake; it was too pliable to be a substitute for rubber. The compound was a result of combining a silicone derivative with boric oxide. Despite being a poor substitute for rubber, it had other, unusual properties.  Warrick would call this new product ‘bouncing putty,’ far before it became popular as a novelty and later as a children’s toy.

Click on this link to listen to an oral history with Earl Warrick: https://oh.sciencehistory.org/oral-histories/warrick-earl-l

Read about Earl Warrick and his wife, Jean Davis Warrick, on this page on Saginaw Valley State University’s website: https://svsu.academicworks.com/donors/dr-earl-and-mrs-jean-davis-warrick