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Bakelite, a Belgian invention

The first telephones were made with a wooden casing, but not much later that casing was replaced by a plastic that originated in Belgium... or at least its inventor.

Leo Baekeland was born in Ghent in 1863. After his studies "chemistry" at Ghent University, he left for the United States of America. He started working as a scientist and researched new materials in plastic. This is how he invented Bakelite: a hard, non-flammable plastic that could be produced cheaply. Bakelite could be pressed into various shapes and therefore had many different applications: telephones, radios, door handles, and handles for pots and pans.

Picture by Pixabay

Leo Baekeland became very wealthy with this invention that was named after him. He died in Beacon (USA) in 1944. Bakelite gradually disappeared from the industry due to the development of new plastics.

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