Q:

Who invented plastic and when?

A:

Leo Baekeland invented the first synthetic plastic in 1907.He was able to make the first synthetic plastic because of his wealth.

Baekeland earned his wealth from selling the first commercially successful photographic paper to George Eastman for $750,000 in 1898. This gave him the freedom that he needed to pursue his own research leading to the invention of plastic. In 1905, Baekeland discovered that combining formaldehyde and phenol resulted in an interesting material that could bind powders to one another. He named the material after himself, calling it "Bakelite." This was the first thermosetting plastic.

In 1931, another type of plastic, neoprene, was invented. In 1933, polythene and Perspex were invented. Then in 1938, nylon was invented. Nylon is a wholly synthetic fiber and fabric. It was put in toothbrush bristles and stockings.

Plastic became important for the nation during World War II when plane cockpits were made out of Perspex and polythene was used to insulate the radar. The synthetic used for the tires also came from plastic. Modern plastic includes Teflon (used in non-stick pans), Lycra (used primarily in sportswear materials) and Dacron (used in tents and sailing supplies to keep things from rotting). All of the plastics made today have been directly influenced by Baekeland and his first Bakelite plastic.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    When was plastic invented?

    A:

    Alexander Parkes presented his invention Parkesine at the Great International Exhibition in London in 1862. His invention, which could be molded into a shape while hot and then maintain that shape as it cooled, is considered the first man-made plastic.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who invented algebra?

    A:

    No single person invented algebra. The roots of algebra extend to the ancient Babylonians, who first developed mathematical techniques to solve problems using algorithms. Later work by Greek, Persian and Indian mathematicians further extended these techniques and laid the foundations for modern algebra.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was invented in 1998?

    A:

    Items invented in 1998 include Windows 98, the iMac computer and the MP3 player. Viagra was also approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 1998.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who invented netball?

    A:

    Dr. James Naismith is credited for inventing netball. The no-dribble game was a spinoff of basketball that he invented in 1891 at a YMCA in Springfield, Mass.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore