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What did Percy Julian invent?

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Quick Answer

Percy Julian invented the fire extinguisher, Aero-Foam. It was extensively used during World War II, and was referred to as the United States Navy's "bean soup."

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Julian was an African-American doctor, civil rights advocate, academic, scientist and a leading figure in chemistry. His research about soy proteins led to the development of a flame retardant, which was particularly useful in extinguishing fires that flared up on aircraft carriers. Julian's Aero-Foam helped in saving the lives of numerous American seamen in the U.S. Navy. Aside from inventing Aero-Foam, Julian also contributed to the synthesis of certain drugs, including birth control pills, steroids, cortisone and physostigmine, a substance used to treat glaucoma.

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