From the Mountains to the Moon

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Who would have thought that the humble Burdock Burr (above) would have inspired something invaluable to astronauts and school boys alike? Well it did and here is how.

In 1941, Georges de Mestral (1907-1990) lived in a town in Switzerland called Aubonne and one day he went in to the Alps, with his dog, to go hunting. On his return he noticed that his clothes, and the dog’s fur, were covered in burrs. He took a burr and looked at it under the microscope and that is when he had his eureka moment. After much derision Georges developed his idea and won a patent for it in 1955. What was his idea? Velcro! The last Space Shuttle flew with over 10,000 inches of it on board!

This is a view of Aubonne. You can see Lake Geneva in the background.

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This is the same view done in pastels by someone whose name I can’t read but I could read Aubonne which was lucky because it gave me something to go on. I paid £2.95 for this lovely picture and it was worth every penny for all that research.

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P.S. Is there a school boy out there that still knows how to tie a shoe lace?

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