What is the use of Plastic? Plastic is used to make many inexpensive
items such as microwavable packaging, carbonated drinks bottles, peanut butter
jars, microwavable packaging, supermarket bags, small household items, cutlery, toys and molded
Plastic polymers: Plastic polymers can be derived from plants
and also conventional feedstocks. Feedstock is a raw material such as oil or
natural gas that is used to supply, or fuel, a machine or industrial process.
Fact File about the Invention of Plastic: Invention: Bakelite Plastic *** Date of Invention: 1907 *** Name of Inventor: Leo Baekeland *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1863 - 1944 *** Nationality of Inventor: Belgian-born American *** Historical Period: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Category:
Packaging and electronic equipment covering. *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, Leo Hendrik Baekeland, and the invention of
Bakelite Plastic ***
Fact 1: Who invented Plastic? The Plastic known as Bakelite was invented by Leo Baekeland in 1907 during the Second US Industrial Revolution era of inventions (1850 - 1914).
Fact 2: Who invented Plastic? Prior to the invention of Bakelite Plastic in 1907,
the only materials that could be molded were glass and clay (pottery). In 1862
the first man-made plastic, nitrocellulose (called Parkesine), was invented by
Alexander Parkes (29 December 1813 – 29 June 1890) from cellulose treated with
nitric acid and a solvent.
Fact 3: Who invented Plastic? In 1868, an American inventor called John
Wesley Hyatt (November 28, 1837 – May 10, 1920) developed the first industrial
plastic he named Celluloid. Celluloid was made by plasticizing the
nitrocellulose with camphor and was used as a photographic film.
Fact 4: Who invented Plastic? The invention of Bakelite Plastic followed
the invention of the first plastics known as Parkesine and Celluloid. The inventor of
Bakelite Plastic, Leo Hendrik Baekeland, was born on November 14, 1863 in Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium and died on February 23, 1944.
Fact 5: Who invented Plastic? The early years of Leo Baekeland were spent in Saint-Martens-Latem, Belgium where he was raised by his family. Leo Baekeland was educated at Ghent University
where he gained a bachelor of science degree.
Fact 6: Who invented Plastic? Following his education his first job was as
an assistant professor at the University of Ghent where he stayed for several
years. During this time he married Celine Swarts on August 8, 1889 and the
couple had three children called George, Nina, and Jenny.
Fact 7: Who invented Plastic? Leo Baekeland and his young family went to
the United States on a traveling scholarship. Whilst he was in America he was
offered a job at the E. and H.T. Anthony photographic company, and decided to
settle in America and make it his home.
Fact 8: Who invented Plastic? He
Fact 9: Who invented Plastic? At this time Leo Baekeland was well
aware of the work conducted by American inventor John W. Hyatt who, in 1872, had
manufactured celluloid. Celluoid was a thermoplastic substance that consisted of
a mixture of cellulose nitrate, camphor, and alcohol, that was used to make
Fact 10: Who invented Plastic? In 1891 Leo Baekeland left the Anthony
company to establish himself as a consulting chemist and in 1993 established the
Nepera Chemical Company to manufacture Velox paper.
Fact 11: Who invented Plastic? Leo Baekeland sold his company to Eastman
Kodak and invested the money in his own private industrial research laboratory
in Yonkers, New York.
Fact 12: Who invented Plastic? Leo Baekeland began experiments in
electrochemistry and was granted patents for his work with electrolytic cells.
Fact 13: Who invented Plastic? Confident in his own abilities Leo Baekeland
then began searching for a fully synthetic substitute for the resin shellac
which was used in varnishes, paints and inks.
Fact 14: Who invented Plastic? At the time shellac was an entirely
natural product Leo Baekeland realized that the market was ready for a cheaper,
artificial substitute. Leo Baekeland focussed his research on finding a solvent
that would dissolve a sticky, resinous substance formed by a condensation
reaction of formaldehyde with phenol. He believed that a solvent capable of
breaking down this sticky, resinous substance would possess the shellac-like
properties he was looking for.
Fact 15: Who invented Plastic? His experiments failed as he was unable to
create an appropriate solvent. Leo Baekeland failed to synthesize shellac but
his experiments led to the invention of Bakelite, the first successful plastic.
Fact 16: Who invented Plastic? The invention of Plastic began when Leo
Baekeland began to investigate the reactions created by different combinations
of phenol (aka carbolic acid) and formaldehyde, highly water-soluble gas.
Fact 17: Who invented Plastic? Leo Baekeland developed thermoplastic,
which could be repeatedly softened and re-molded by heat and pressure, giving
the material "plasticity".
Fact 18: Who invented Plastic? Leo Baekeland's plastic was a clear solid
that was water, heat and solvent resistant and nonconductive. Leo Baekeland
patented the solid plastic in 1907 and called it Bakelite.
Fact 19: Who invented Plastic? Bakelite was the first totally synthetic
plastic and the first thermoset plastic. Bakelite was a dark, nonflammable,
brittle plastic that could be used to create different composition and shapes
and a great material for use in electrical uses as well as appliances and had
the added advantage of the ability to be made in many colors.
Fact 20: Who invented Plastic? Bakelite was a massive success. It was
cheap, versatile and came in a variety of colors. Bakelite is a nonflammable
material that was cheaper and more versatile than other known plastics. It was
used in the booming automobile, radio and telephone industries, a range of
household appliances and even jewelry.
Fact 21: Leo Baekeland died in Beacon, New York, at the age of eighty, on February 23, 1944.
Fact 22 - Impact: How did Plastic impact the world? The impact of the invention of
Plastic was a paramount step to improving the field of Textiles and packaging.
Who invented Plastic? Now you know that Leo Hendrik Baekeland was the person who invented
Plastic! We hope that the facts in this article have provided the answers to all of your questions about the invention of
Plastic and its famous inventor, Leo Hendrik Baekeland who founded the modern
plastics industry through his invention of Bakelite.
History of Plastic? The history of plastic continued with the invention of
Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC in 1920, Plexiglas in 1931, Teflon which was invented
by Roy Plunkett in 1938, Nylon in 1939, Lexan in 1953, Styrofoam in 1954 and in
1965 Stephanie Kwolek develop the plastic compound Kevlar.
Fast Info and Fact File: Country of Origin: America *** Name of Inventor: Leo Hendrik Baekeland *** Nationality of Inventor: Belgian-born American *** Date of Invention: 1907 *** Invention:
Bakelite Plastic *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1863 - 1944 *** Invention Era: Second US Industrial Revolution (1850 - 1914) *** Type:
Packaging and Coverings *** The Inventor and Invention of
Bakelite Plastic ***