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Opening Arguments


RIP Ruth Benerito:

Half a century ago, working quietly in a New Orleans laboratory, Ruth Benerito helped smooth the fabric of modern life. In so doing, she helped liberate people from hours of household drudgery.

A chemist long affiliated with the United States Department of Agriculture, Dr. Benerito helped perfect modern wrinkle-free cotton, colloquially known as permanent press, in work that she and her colleagues began in the late 1950s.

Widely available since the mid-1960s, wrinkle-free cotton is considered one of the most significant technological developments of the 20th century. For her role, Dr. Benerito was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2008.

Dr. Benerito died on Saturday at 97.

Now there was somebody who made a valuable contribution to society, bless her heart. My life has been immeasurably richer since the day several years ago when I declared my house a no-iron zone. The ironing board still sits in the basement across from the washer and dryer, unused and unmourned.

Posted in: Current events