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Tom Goolsby

Tom Goolsby was a mechanical engineer that helped make foam cannons that would shoot out non-fatal foam. CITATION REQUIRED He signed on to this project and he worked at the Sandia company. There he was working on making this sprayer because the Department of Justice asked him.

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Early Life


These canons were designed to help stop violent situations. Goolsby’s job was to construct the canister that could shoot the material to a distance of thirty feet in a small stream-like way.CITATION REQUIRED The material that was supposed to shoot out of the cannon was foam, which was originally created for security operations. Foam was created in the nineteen sixties and was made out of polymers. Due to this the foam could grow up to fifty times its size when it absorbed water.

Due to the powerful bonds between polymers it was difficult to remove the foam from the person that was trying to be stopped. It would literally engulf the person it landed on.

This was a major downside for two reasons. The first is that it would take one minute to remove one square inch of the foam which was very time consuming for the police and could only be removed with mineral oil. The second demise was that once the person was immobilized, they could not be moved by anyone because the combined weight would be too heavy which also prevented their arrest. Yet on the other hand this was good because the violent act was stopped by halting the violent individual.The foam was suppose to be used for classified nuclear security operations but once the authorities saw what this sticky foam was capable of doing they decided they could put this in their non-lethal weapons arsenal.CITATION REQUIRED This included water cannons, fire trucks, tazer guns, and rubber bullets. Mainly the police wanted this new technology to stop riots by stopping the movement of those involved.


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