Who is the Father of Plastics?

Leo Hendrik Baekeland is known as the father of Plastics.

Here are some quick facts about Leo Hendrik Baekeland:

Birth November 14, 1863
Death February 23, 1944
Occupation Chemist, Inventor
Known for Plastics research, Bakelite, Novolac, Velox photographic paper
Education University of Ghent

Leo Hendrik Baekeland - Father of Plastics

Leo Hendrik Baekeland — Father of Plastics

Leo Hendrik Baekeland was a Belgian-born chemist who is known as the father of plastic. He was born in Ghent, Belgium on July 14th, 1863. In 1884 he moved to New York City where he took a job at the American Telephone & Telegraph Company.

While working at A.T & T., Baekeland began studying cellulose nitrate, which is a mixture of nitric acid and cellulose. He found that when mixed together these two chemicals form a solid material with many characteristics that make it ideal for industrial uses such as coating telephone wires or making automobile parts.

In 1907 Baekeland developed a formula for creating polyvinyl chloride which was later called Bakelite. This new product became very popular because it was durable, easy to use and inexpensive to produce. It soon replaced other materials such as ivory and rubber in many different industries including furniture manufacturing and construction materials manufacturing.

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