Persistence Pays Off, Literally

A Slice of AnnyWorld:

The Key of Persistence

Did you know that if Stephanie Kwolek had listened to her colleagues, thousands of lives would be lost by now?

That’s because In 1964 her colleagues at DuPont considered the cloudy polymer solution she’d made a failure–telling her to throw it out because it wasn’t the clear solution they expected. But Stephanie refused.  “She explains, “I discovered over the years that I seemed to see things that other people did not see… if things don’t work out I don’t just throw them out, I struggle over them, to try and see if there’s something there.” She said she realized that the uniqueness of the liquid “might be useful,” so she spent “several days urging her colleagues to spin it and test its physical properties.”

Once they did test it, they discovered that her solution was five times stronger than steel by weight.

DuPont named the new material Kevlar.

Kevlar is used as a material in over 200 products, but perhaps what Stephanie was most proud of is it’s use in bulletproof vests.  “I don’t think there’s anything like saving someone’s life to bring you satisfaction and happiness.”

Innovation and creativity require persistence in the face of resistance.

As I struggle to finish the current draft of my middle grade fantasy novel, I’m going to think of Stephanie’s tenacity and push myself to carry on.

How has persistence paid off in your life?  Please share with me on my author page, or comment on this post.

Purple Passion of the Fortnight: A kevlar ski helmet.  (Looked for purple bulletproof vest, but alas there weren't any.)

Purple Passion of the Fortnight: A kevlar ski helmet. (Looked for purple bulletproof vest, but alas there weren’t any.)


Destination of the Fortnight: Wilmington, Delaware, home of the Dupont Lab where Stephanie discovered Kelvar. (This is Stephanie in the 70’s with her invention.)


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