How Silly Putty Became the World’s Most Malleable Toy

A bungled WWII chemistry experiment saved by an adman

A few days shy of Christmas 1968, the Apollo 8 mission blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla., with Captain James Lovell and two other astronauts aboard. The mission would accomplish many firsts. It was the first time the new Saturn V rocket would be used, the first time men entered a lunar orbit, and one other first that escaped the history books. A revolutionary new substance was aboard that the astronauts used to fix their tools in place and keep them from floating around in zero gravity.