Johnna's Articles

A Special Daily Resource Shared by Kerry Ruff

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021




Dennis Weatherby was born on December 4, 1959 in Brighton, Alabama and was the son of Willie and Flossie Mae Weatherby. Dennis would get his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Central State University (CSU) in Ohio in 1982. He would get his master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Dayton in 1984 and began working as a process engineer at Procter and Gamble soon after graduation. Dennis with the help of his team would develop a solution made of dyes using bleach giving the soap a lemon-yellow color that would not stain dishes. Before Mr. Weatherby’s solution, there were pigments being tested that stained dishes and the interiors of dishwashers. Dennis applied for a patent and received it on December 22, 1987 for his breakthrough “Automatic dishwasher detergent composition”. His invention sells under the trade name “Cascade” and is the basic formula behind all of today’s lemon-scented cleaning products with bleach. In 1989, after leaving P&G he began working at his alma mater, CSU as an academic advisor and recruiter in the water resources center. The school historically catered to black students and under Dennis’s leadership, the program experienced more than a 400% growth in student enrollment with a better than 80% retention rate. In 1994, he became an assistant professor of water quality at CSU and served as the primary recruiter, advisor and counselor for students in the environmental program at CSU. In 1996, Mr. Weatherby moved to Auburn University to become the founding director of the school’s new minority engineering program. Auburn University’s Minority Engineering Program made Auburn one of the top universities for graduating African Americans in the field of engineering. He served as a role model and advisor for black and other minority students while there. Today we honor the man who invented the most well-known household cleaning products. Thank you fellow chemist for your invention. Thank you. Happy Black History Month


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