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Topic: Why are so many things made of Plastic?
Plastic Home > Experiment Gone Wrong

Experiment Gone Wrong!

Illustration: Baekeland's stillLeo Baekeland, a chemist living in New York, developed the first truly artificial plastic back in 1907. He was originally trying to develop a substitute for shellac, but created something revolutionary instead.

This new material was hard, strong, yet light, could be molded and colored, and was resistant to electricity and heat. He called his discovery Bakelite. Bakelite is still used today in things like electrical plugs and outlets.

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Revised September 16, 2001




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