During the 1960's the founder of Pratley, Mr George Montague (Monty) Pratley assisted by a chemist, Mr Frank Robinson, invented the world's first Epoxy Putty.Initially the intention was to use it internally for the insulating and affixing of terminals to cast iron Electrical Junction Boxes. Subsequently it was launched into the market as "Pratley Plastic Putty", this name was later changed to just "Pratley Putty".
An agreement to manufacture the product under licence in the USA was concluded with "Atlas Minerals" in Pennsylvania.
Atlas jumped the gun and introduced the product to NASA before they were able to produce.Consequently, when NASA decided to use the product aboard the Ranger moon landing craft, the product was supplied from South Africa via Atlas Minerals.It became the only South African Product to go to the moon.
In 2016, the South African Mint embarked on a project whereby it annually struck a series of Silver Commemorative Collectible coins which recognise some notable South African inventions.On this the 50th year of the Apollo Moon Landing, it has minted some special collectible coins which recognise Monty Pratley and his invention of Pratley Putty plus its association with the moon landings.
The following is an extract from the SA Mint's website:
The 2019 ‘South African Inventions’ theme features the history, invention and development of polymer putty as well as its journey to the moon. Invented by South African George Montague (Monty) Pratley, the world famous Pratley Putty was developed in the 1960’s as an insulator and an adhesive agent for fixing brass terminals which were located inside cast iron cable junction boxes.
This putty was used on the Ranger spacecraft produced and flown to study the moon. This American spacecraft was the first to land on the moon and thus helped lay the groundwork for the successful moon landing and safe return of a human during the NASA Apollo XI mission.
The South African Mint celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with the ‘South African inventions’ series, focusing on the only South African product to ever go to the moon, Pratley Putty.
This series was launched in 2016, to highlight globally relevant inventions and firsts by South Africans. The dolos was the first invention to be featured, followed by the first successful human-to-human heart transplant in 2017, and Computed Tomography or CT scan on 2018.
All at Pratley can be justifiably proud of their association with the Company and its achievements. It is indeed quite a prestigious honour to be recognised in a country's commemorative coin series.