The Mayans used rubber as a cushioning agent hundreds of years ago. The original foam was made from actual latex rubber. Around World War II, before and after, the polycarbonate industry flourished and a better way to make foam was on its way.
Well, Pete's Dad, L. Dean Tyler, was project leader at Monsanto (later Mobay, then Bayer) during that time and was an integral contributor foam as we know it today - it's not rubber after all!
Unfortunately Dean died a young man. He would have been 93 in 2011! Just imagine what he might have invented if he were still with us. His company dedicated a building to him after his death in honor of his contributions. It was then replaced with something more modern, so they gave us the amazingly heavy bronze plaque from the side of the building.