Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fond Farewell - Harry Hind (1915-2012)

Berkeley California born inventor, Harry Hind died on April 12 at age 96. Mr. Hind was a graduate of the University of California San Francisco and he became the first person to develop a device to read the pH of chemical solutions. This device served as the model for all pH meters in use today. 

Together with a classmate, Mr. Hind's discoveries in reading pH levels led to them specializing in opthalmic eye prescriptions. Their company, Barnes-Hind Pharmaceuticals Inc. produced one of the first pharmacological treatments for tuberculosis. They were bought out by Revlon Corp in 1976.

Later, a friendship with surf industry legend Jack O'Neill, forever changed the history of the surfing. Mr. Hind's suggestion to Mr. O'Neill was to use neoprene to make wetsuits, a material still in use today.

In 1989, his experience with his wife's ineffective shingles injection pain medicine sparked another idea. By making the injection into a gel and applying it to her skin, then wrapping over it with plastic wrap, he helped had invented the first shingles patch. "Lidoderm" as the patch was called was approved by the FDA in 1999.

He will be remembered not only for his life changing inventions, but also for being a dedicated optimist.

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