George Pratley was an inventor in every sense of the word.
A South African engineer, George Pratley drew on his strong engineering background to develop innovative products for industry, most notably the mining sector.
But as a South African inventor, George Pratley also allowed his imagination to wander and invented fun products like robots and miniature motorcycles.
George Pratley established Pratley Engineering in 1948, kicking off his list of inventions with a specialised mine hose clamp and the Vula Vala mining valve. In the 1950s, Pratley developed and patented the world's first electrical delay explosives igniter and some 10 years later, Pratley Putty.
The engineer designed the famous adhesive after looking, unsuccessfully, for a glue that could hold the components of an electrical box in place. In 1965, Pratley built Humphrey, a robot, from scrap metal held together by Pratley Putty.
Its amazing holding properties also saw the putty being used on the landing craft on the Apollo XI mission to the moon in 1969 and to stop a crack in one of the supports of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
In 1970, Pratley injected an element of fun into his work by launching the Pratley Bike, a miniature motorcycle that folded up to fit into a carry bag.
The years that followed were marked with the development of several groundbreaking products, including the world's first chemical delay igniter and numerous adhesive products such as the acclaimed Pratley Wonderfix, and Wham accelerated super glue.
George Pratley passed away in 1983 with his son Kim succeeding him as CEO of the Pratley Group. Today the company manufactures 800 products and has registered 300 patents. It has won a number of awards over the years, including a Technology Top 100 Award in 1993.
The company has since extended its reach into diamond mining and high-end minerals microanalysis. Despite this, the family-run business still upholds the legacy of its creative and inspired founder, George Pratley.