Science: Homemade DDT

Many a civilian would give red points to get his hands on a little DDT, the Army's high-priority insecticide. Recently citizens of Media and Swarthmore, Philadelphia suburbs, were astonished: two of the towns' hardware stores offered bottles of DDT for sale across the open counter. The solution was just right for killing flies and mosquitoes. The stores did a land-office business at $1 per pint. Then WPB heard about it and asked grimly: where did the stuff come from?

The answer: a Swarthmore chemist named Walter Steuber (of Houdry Process Corp.) had decided that the easiest way to get DDT was to...

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