Book review: The Day-Glo Brothers, The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors

Day-Glo-Brothers


I absolutely loved Chris Barton's book, The Day-Glo Brothers, The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors. It's a children's book about the two brothers who invented fluorescent paint and Day-Glo paint. Joe Switzer wanted to be a magician when he was younger and he started fooling around with a black light that he and his brother Bob learned to make from a 1930s issue of Popular Science (I'm guessing it was this PopSci article from 1932).

They shined the light on the chemicals lining the shelves of their father's pharmacy and noticed that some of them glowed vibrantly. They started buying and mixing chemicals and eventually developed a number of different kinds paints that gave fluoresced under black light. Later, after much experimentation, the stumbled on paint that fluoresced under white light, which they dubbed "Day-Glo." The discovery made them very rich.

The book is illustrated by Tony Persiani, and it makes good use of Day-Glo ink, natch.

The world needs more fun history books like this!

The Day-Glo Brothers, The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors