AstroTurf® or Astro Turf
The Beginning of Artificial Turf
GreenFields manufacture and supply artificial turf but are not associated with the AstroTurf® brand.
Many people today are unaware that AstroTurf® is a trademark because all artificial turf products are commonly referred to as astro turf. This is a common misunderstanding in several industries and is referred to as a generalised trademark. Other examples are Kleenex, Sellotape, Frisbee, Xerox, Hoover, and now AstroTurf®. The fact this is often written as two non-capitalized words (astro turf) reinforces the fact that people do not realise this is a brand name. Below a summary of the company AstroTurf®.
History of AstroTurf®
AstroTurf® was invented in 1965 by the Monsanto Company who then patented the product on 25th July 1967 (US Patent 3332828). The original concept was more decorative than practical as the first AstroTurf® concept (known as Chemgrass) was a short pile artificial turf carpet. By the time Monsanto published their patent, the AstroTurf® product could withstand adverse weather conditions and sports use. It truly was an “all weather sports surface”. The modern counterpart now incorporates a superior turf system with sand or rubber infill and latex backing. Antimicrobial protection is also a feature for improved player hygiene. This modern system is known as third generation artificial turf.
Monsanto established the AstroTurf® head office in Georgia, USA in 1987 and continues to be a well respected brand in the American sports industry. Here is a timeline of events for AstroTurf®:
1901 – Monsanto is founded.
1955 – (circa) The Ford Foundation join Monsanto to research an artificial surface for sports.
1964 – First experimental artificial turf field installed at Moses Brown School, Rhode Island.
1966 – Chemgrass is installed at the Houston Astrodome.
1966 – Chemgrass is rebranded as AstroTurf®.
1967 – AstroTurf® is registered as a US Patent.
1967 – First outdoor installation of AstroTurf® at Memorial Stadium, Indiana State University.
1968 – Opening of the AstroTurf® head office in Georgia, USA.
1975 – AstroTurf® is used for the first time in international field hockey at Molson Stadium, Montreal.
1984 – First vertical drainage system installed at Trenton State College, New Jersey.
1989 – First E-Layer sports turf system installed at University of California, Berkeley.
2004 – Textile Management Associates Incorporated purchase the AstroTurf® brand.
2007 – Antimicrobial treatment becomes standard on all AstroTurf® fields
2009 – AstroTurf® and University of Tennessee create the Centre for Safer Athletic Fields
The AstroTurf® Brand
AstroTurf® was originally known as Chemgrass. Lots of media attention was received when Monsanto installed Chemgrass at the Houston Astrodome in 1966. The product soon became known as AstroTurf®; aptly named after the venue that made it famous. Monsanto immediately registered this new trademark and the AstroTurf® brand was born. Today, AstroTurf® is owned by a Textile Management Associates in Dalton, Georgia, and AstroTurf® is still a registered trademark worldwide.