• John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman


The foundations of the modern plastics industry were laid by Leo Hendrik Baekeland when he invented bakelite, the first thermosetting plastic. Earlier known plastics hardened only upon cooling, softened when heated and were too soluble. Bakelite does not suffer from these defects and now has an extremely wide range of uses.


Transmission Gear Torque Converter Eastman Kodak Company Individual Inventor Early Patent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. T. N. E. C. Hearings, Part 3, Patents, pp. 1077–1104, 1939.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baekeland, L. H., ‘Bakelite’, Scientific American Supplement, Nov. 20, 1909; Nov. 27, 1909.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Craig, L. H., World’s Work, Apr. 1916.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    ‘Plastics’, Fortune, Mar. 1936.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Jewkes, David Sawers and Richard Stillerman 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman

There are no affiliations available

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