Skip to main content


Maine Turnpike
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Roads & Rails Era: 1940-1949 DateCreated: 1947 Maine Turnpike State: ME Zip: Country: USA Website: Creator:

Maine's heavy snows led turnpike maintenance personnel to bring "left-handed" snow plows into prominence. By using left-handed and traditional right-handed plows in tandem, they were able to distribute snow more evenly - an important advance that has been emulated by many highway maintenance crews across the country.

Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Doug Kerr (CC BY-SA 2.0) Image Caption: Maine Turnpike Era_date_from: 1947
Russell Marker and the Mexican Steroid Hormone Industry
Society: ACS Main Category: Chemical Sub Category: Medical Era: 1930-1949 DateCreated: 1938–1945 Pond Laboratory University Park State: PA Zip: Country: USA Website: Creator: Russell Marker

Steroid chemists often refer to the 1930s as the Decade of the Sex Hormones, when the molecular structures of certain sex hormones were determined and first introduced to medical practice as drugs. Russell Marker achieved the first practical synthesis of the pregnancy hormone, progesterone, by what now is known as the "Marker Degradation." Produced from starting material in a species of Mexican yam, Marker’s progesterone eventually became the preferred precursor in the industrial preparation of the anti-inflammatory drug cortisone.

Image Credit: Image Caption: Marker Degradation Era_date_from: 1938–1945
Subscribe to 1999


We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support America's only magazine of the history of engineering and innovation, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to Invention & Technology.


Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.