So who is making it? We are—that is to say, many of our large corporations are still making it at their plants overseas. It will not be banned in Third World countries until 2010.
Clair Patterson died in 1995. He didn't win a Nobel Prize for his work. Geologists never do. Nor, more puzzlingly, did he gain any fame or even much attention from half a century of consistent and increasingly selfless achievement. A good case could be made that he was the most influential geologist of the twentieth century.
Yet who has ever heard of Clair Patterson? Most geology textbooks don't mention him. Two recent popular books on the history of the dating of Earth actually manage to misspell his name. In early 2001, a reviewer of one of these books in the journal Nature made the additional, rather astounding error of thinking Patterson was a woman.
At all events, thanks to the work of Clair Patterson by 1953 the Earth at last had an age everyone could agree on. The only problem now was it was older than the universe that contained it.