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Former Wayne State researcher made history from the battlefield to the baseball field
David R. Brady's inventions have protected both athletes and soldiers.
Brady, born in 1905, designed and patented the first safety baseball shoe in 1939 to address the leg and ankle injuries that plagued the sport during its early years.
Detroit Tigers manager Mickey Cochran was enthusiastic about the shoe, which featured removable cleats covered with fabric and rubber. New York Yankees second baseman Joe Gordon made news headlines when he wore a pair during the 1939 World Series.
In the early 1940s, Brady worked with Detroit Lions all-star lineman Jack Johnson to develop a knee brace.
During World War II, Brady served his country by performing medical research at Wayne State. In 1944 he developed a surgical bandage that did not stick to burn wounds.
"This was his life's proudest achievement," says his son and School of Business Administration alum Michael Brady. A large number of soldiers developed serious, sometimes life-threatening infections following the removal of wound coverings. The non-stick bandage solved the problem.
Brady's company, Brands Laboratories Inc., continued to provide innovative ideas and products until his death in 1966.