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Inventors’ Stories
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Sally Fox, Innovator of Naturally Colored Cotton
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Eight-year-old Sally Fox posing outside


Eight-year-old Sally Fox








Youthful Influences

When Fox was a child, spinning and weaving fascinated her. She saved her babysitting money to buy her first spindle, and her parents gave her a spinning wheel for her thirteenth birthday. She spun any fibers she could find, from the fur shed by her family’s Samoyed dogs to the cotton balls in medicine bottles.

“In those days they weren’t selling spinning supplies, and I was in an urban area where it wasn’t easy to find natural materials.”

At age 12, Fox read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, a book about the damaging effects of pesticides. Inspired to pursue science, she earned college degrees in biology and entomology (the study of insects).

Next: Marjorie Stewart Joyner, Permanent Waving Machine inventor ›





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