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Plastic manufacturing continues to evolve as technology improves and human knowledge expands. Today plastic material is taken for granted as it is a part of many aspects of our lives.  Taking a minute to appreciate how it came to be may help us to respect the material a little bit more.

[caption id="attachment_941" align="alignleft" width="200"] John Wesley Hyatt[/caption]

1868-John Wesley Hyatt created celluloid, more popularly know as cellulose nitrate, a material commonly used in plastics.

1909-Dr. Leo Hendrik Baekeland experimented with synthetic resins which lead to the creation of Bakelite, a sturdy but mode-able material.

[caption id="attachment_942" align="alignright" width="206"] Dr. Leo Hendrik Baekland[/caption]

1929-Cellulose Acetate was introduced as a safer product that also had the ability to be molded and shaped.

1930s-Commercialization of polystyrene took place during this decade that later became the 3rd best selling plastic material.

1940s-Polyethylene was developed during WWII to fill the need for superior insulating materials use in products such as the radar cable.

1950s-Polypropylene became the plastic material to compete directly with the metal industry by its strength and dimensional stability.

1960s and 1970s-Polystyrene became popular for its use in the packaging industry.

[caption id="attachment_944" align="alignnone" width="192"] Tray Table (Polystyrene)[/caption]

Today, Mr. Chain manufactures products out of both polystyrene and polyethylene. More recently, it appears that there is renewed activity in the plastics industry. What do you think the plastic industry will do in 2012?

Til Next Time,

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Plastic Chain is intended for decorative purposes only. Not intended to support heavy objects. Plastic chain must not be used where a break might cause damage or injury.