Pedia News

Plastics (Bakelite)


Plastics (Bakelite)
Throughout the 19th century, scientists tried desperately to solve the mystery of polymers – very large molecules that can be expanded and moulded. In 1870 an American inventor modified a naturally occurring polymer called cellulose to create an incredible new material called celluloid, which could be moulded or rolled when heated. But it would be another 40 years before the first wholly synthetic plastic was made. The discoverer, Leo Baekeland, had been experimenting with synthetic resins. After heating the liquid, he found that it produced a solidified matter, which was insoluble in solvents and did not soften when heated. He called it ‘Bakelite’, and it was soon used in the production of everything from electricals to jewellery.


Plastics (Bakelite)