Patricia Billings



Patricia Billings was born in Missouri in 1926. An artist by training she did not become an inventor till the 1970s. As a sculptor, she specialized in sculpting figures made from plaster of Paris. One day, one of her pieces fell and shattered. Billings then set upon an eight-year long course developing a material that would be less fragile than plaster of Paris. Billings recognized that sometimes in order to move forward one had to go back, and back in time she went to delve into the plaster used by the Renaissance master painters. In her research of Renaissance formulae, Billings discovered that muralists of old had used plaster mixed with a cement-like substance. Billings worked continuously in her basement lab and came up eventually with a substance she called "Geobond." Repeated tests conducted by the U.S. Air Force showed that Geobond was virtually indestructible even when heated to temperatures over 6,500 degrees. Geobond, which is non-toxic, would come to replace asbestos after asbestos was found to cause cancer. As a sculp table substance it became attractive as a material for building aircraft, bridges, or building materials. Billings received a patent for Geobond in 1997.


Cherokee Grandma Spider Steals the Sun

References:

Patently Female by Ethlie Ann Vare and Greg Ptacek (John Wiley, 2002) pp. 11-13.

Web Sites:

Geobond
Patricia Billings
Patricia Billings
Patricia Billings
OTHER INNOVATIONS AND INVENTIONS