From Ohio History Central
In 1938, former New Carlisle, Ohio, resident Roy J. Plunkett accepted a position with DuPont in Deepwater, New Jersey. One of his first assignments was to find a non-toxic, non-flammable coolant to be used in refrigerators. One of his attempts led to the creation of a slippery powder now called Teflon. Teflon's scientific name is Polytetrafluoroethylene. The powder proved capable of withstanding temperatures as cold as minus four hundred degrees Fahrenheit and as warm as five hundred degrees Fahrenheit.
It took several years for scientists to discover ways to use Teflon. During World War II, designers of the atomic bomb utilized Teflon to manufacture gaskets and linings that could resist the bomb's corrosive components. In 1954, two French engineers discovered that cookware coated in Teflon prevented food from sticking to the pots and pans. This discovery led to the first widespread commercial use of Teflon. Later in the twentieth century, scientists began to develop ways to utilize Teflon in the practice of medicine, as well as in numerous other industries.