Show Notes: Leo Henrik Baekeland (and Bakelite)

Tracy Wilson

A Bakelite pipe depicting Winston Churchill is displayed at Chartwell on January 23, 2015 in Westerham, England. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Dr. Leo Baekeland, the inventor of the first synthetic plastic, was a wealthy man at a young age thanks to creating a new way to develop photographs. But it was his work with phenol and formaldehyde that would help usher in the age of plastics. That age started a little earlier than either Holly or I realized.

We have listener mail is from Crystal, and another from Waverly.

For more knowledge: How Plastics Work

Episode link: The Father of Plastics

Holly's research:

  • American Chemical Society."The Bakelizer." Nov. 9, 1993.
  • American Chemical Society. National Historic Chemical Landmarks. "Bakelite: The World's First Synthetic Plastic."
  • Baekeland, Leo. "Leo Baekeland Diary Volume 1." Smithsonian Institution.
  • Chemical Heritage Foundation. "Leo Hendrik Bakeland."
  • Flynn, Tom. "Yonkers, Home of the Plastic Age." Yonkers Historical Society.
  • Kettering, Charles F. "Biographical Memoir of Leo Hendrik Baekeland, 1863-1944." National Academy of Sciences. 1946.
  • National Museum of American History. "Bakelizer." Smithsonian.

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