Do you know who invented the first plastic toothpaste tube? According to this story in the Lowell Sun, it was Westford, Mass., plastics expert Roger Brandt, who died on Dec. 8 at age 88. Brandt worked for American National Can Co., which is where he invented the plastic toothpaste tube back in the 1960s.
"Before plastic tubes, they were all aluminum or lead," said Brandt's daughter, Betsy Nahas, a science teacher at Chelmsford High School. "For a long time, people said it was no big deal, the tubes didn't include the lead ion that makes you sick. Procter & Gamble was ready to reject the plastic tube, when a new report showed you could get lead poisoning from the (old) tubes. Procter & Gamble called Dad the next day, and asked, how many tubes can you deliver tomorrow?" His reward? "It was like any company," said Nahas. "A slap on the back, here's 50 bucks, what are you going to do for an encore? You sign away intellectual property rights to the company you work for."Thanks to the Sun, and to Nahas, for sharing that story today.