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Bakelite

Bakelite is a type of plastic that was invented in 1907 by Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland. Baekeland was experimenting with various chemicals in his laboratory when he discovered that by heating a mixture of phenol and formaldehyde, he could create a hard, durable material that was resistant to heat and electricity.

Baekeland named his creation “Bakelite” and patented it in 1909. The new material quickly became popular as a substitute for traditional materials like ivory, tortoiseshell, and metal in a wide range of products. Bakelite was used to make everything from telephones and radios to jewelry and kitchenware.

During World War II, Bakelite became even more important as a material for military equipment because of its heat resistance and durability. It was used to make parts for airplanes, guns, and other military equipment.

After the war, Bakelite continued to be popular for a few decades, but it eventually fell out of favour as newer, more advanced plastics were developed. Today, Bakelite is still used in some applications, but it is primarily of interest to collectors and historians as a symbol of an era when plastic was new and exciting.

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