How did plastic come to be?
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.
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.
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.