The Woman Who Improved Latex: Dr. Bettye Washington Greene


In 1965, Dr.Greene joined Dow Chemical Company, working in the firm’s E.C. Britton Research Laboratory in Midland, Michigan. She was the first African-American to work for Dow Chemical in a professional capacity. Greene’s research was focused on colloidal chemistry, more specifically, the chemistry of latex, including the interaction between latex and paper. In 1975, Greene was promoted to the position of Senior Research Specialist.


During her career with Dow Chemical, Greene obtained several patents for various modifications of latex, including novel adhesives in the form of composite latex polymer sheets with phosphorus surface groups—the basis for latex-coated adhesive tape. Greene retired from Dow Chemical in 1990.

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