NPR logo

Plastic Turns 100: Bakelite's Birthday

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/11959165/11959166" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Plastic Turns 100: Bakelite's Birthday

Business

Plastic Turns 100: Bakelite's Birthday

Plastic Turns 100: Bakelite's Birthday

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/11959165/11959166" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

One hundred years ago today, Belgian-American chemist Leo Baekeland applied for a U.S. patent on a substance he dubbed Bakelite, the first "true" synthetic plastic.

Michele Norris talks with Dr. Jeffrey Meikle, a historian of American plastic, about who Leo Baekeland was, and how his invention affected the next century's thinking.

Books Featured In This Story

American Plastic

A Cultural History

by Jeffrey L. Meikle

Paperback, 403 pages |

purchase

Buy Featured Book

Title
American Plastic
Subtitle
A Cultural History
Author
Jeffrey L. Meikle

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?