In 1931, during one of the worst economic crises in US history, Du Pont announced the discovery of an innovative rubber synthetic product - neoprene. Yet at the time of the announcement, Du Pont did not have any neoprene to sell. Manufacturing facilities were still being erected and production remained at laboratory scale. Rubber synthetics had been developed in Russia, Germany and even in the United States before, but large scale production had never taken off. Would Du Pont's announcement and public disclosure of the basic science lift the barriers to commercialization? What made Du Pont so confident that it could succeed at this uncertain time?