Inventors are inspirational. Dr. Giuliana Tesoro was an inventor, organic chemist, polymer chemist, and professor. She was, in fact, a prolific inventor, with over 125 patents. She is best known for her invention of fire-retardant fabrics. She made contributions to the fiber and textile industry.
Giuliana Cavaglieri was born on June 1, 1921 in Venice, Italy. She was Jewish and at that time the Fascist regime was unjust to Jewish individuals. After her high school graduation, the Fascist Racial Laws denied her access to Italy’s university system. She moved to Switzerland and then to the United States in 1939. In the United States she went to Yale University. In 1943, she received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Also in 1943, she married Victor Tesoro. They went on to have two children.
After graduation and her marriage, Giuliana worked for Calico Chemical temporarily before accepting a job as a research chemist at Onyx Oil and Chemical Company in 1944. She became the head of organic synthesis department. She went on to become assistant director of research and the associate director in 1957. She then became assistant director of organic research for J.P. Stevens & Company. She then went to the Textile Research Institute. In 1969, she became a senior chemist at Burlington Industries. In 1971, she became the director of chemical research.
In 1972, Giuliana became a Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1976 until 1982, she became an adjunct professor and senior research scientist. From 1982 until 1996, she became a research professor at Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
Giuliana Tesoro made advances in textile processing and organic compounds. These advances made improved textile performance. Manufacturing systems became more efficient as well. She invented flame-resistant fibers, ways to prevent static accumulation in synthetic fibers, and improved permanent press properties for textiles.
Tesoro was on a number of committees, including those of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council. In 1963, she received the Olney Medal of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. In 1978, she received the Society of Women Engineers’ Achievement Award.
Giuliana Tesoro died on September 29, 2002 in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Her work and inventions left a legacy. Be inspired! Have a bright day!