HONOURS CONFERRED ON LEO HENDRIK BAEKELAND:
reproduced by kind permission of the Union Carbide Corporation U.S.A.
Doctor of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh 1916
Doctor of Science, Columbia University 1929
of Applied Science, University of Brussels 1934
Doctor of Laws, University of Edinburgh 1937
Member, National Academy
Honorary Member, Royal Society of Edinburgh
Life Member, American Philosophical Society
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Life Member, Franklin Institute
Life Member, Royal Society of
Life Member, Societe Chimique de France
Honorary Professor, Columbia University
American Institute of Chemists
Honorary Member, Electrochemical Society, President 1909
Honorary Member, Societe
Belge des Electriciens
Honorary Member, Societe de Chimie Industrielle Paris
Vice President, Society of Chemical
Industry, London 1905
President, American Institute of Chemical Engineers 1912
President, American Chemical Society
Nichols Medal, New York Section, American Chemical Society 1909
John Scott Medal, Franklin Institute 1910
Gibbs Medal, Chicago Section American Chemical Society 1913
Chandler Medal,( first award ),Columbia University 1914
Medal, Society Chemical Industry 1916
Messel Medal, Society Chemical Industry, London 1938
Franklin Medal, Franklin
Grand Prize, Panama - Pacific Exposition 1915
Pioneer Trophy, Chemical Foundation 1936
Honour, National Institute of Immigrant Welfare 1937
Phi Lambda Upsilon
Tau Beta Pi
Officer of the
Legion of Honour, France
Officer of the Order of the Crown, Belgium
Commander of the Order of Leopold, Belgium
BAKELITE THE FACTS:
Bakelite, was discovered by accident in 1907 by a Belgian born chemist,
Dr Leo Baekeland(1863-1944). Having moved to New York he inadvertently created the first completely man made liquid resin,
which he named Bakelite
Baekeland had already made his fortune by developing a photographic paper(Velox),which
he subsequently sold to the Eastman Kodak company. This made him a millionaire overnight.
any financial constraints Baekeland developed an apparatus which he called a Bakeliser (SEE OPPOSITE >>>). This pot
like apparatus developed a new liquid resin which rapidly hardened and took the shape of it's container. It would form an
exact replica of any vessel which contained it.
This new material would not burn,boil,melt or dissolve
in any common acid or solvent of the time. Once it was firmly set, it would never change. This type of plastic is called a
Realising the importance of his discovery Baekeland patented Bakelite in 1909. In
fact Baekeland beat a close rival by only one day with his heat and pressure patent. It was the first thermosetting phenol
formaldehyde resin. Eventually other companies produced similar phenolics, but nowadays unless marked it is impossible to
identify individual pieces by their manufacturers (see my Trademarks page). Phenolics in general are commonly given a generic
name, ie- Bakelite. Much as many vacuum cleaners are termed-"hoovers".
Bakelite was used normally
for consumer goods and usually contained large amounts of wood flour or other fillers. Normally found in black, or other very
dark colours. In the early days Ox's blood was even used as a natural pigmentation aid. Bakelite is a generic trade name for
a substance called Phenol Formaldehyde. A later evolvement from Bakelite was Urea Formaldehyde (early 1930's). The development
of Urea enabled manufacturers to obtain a wide variety of colours not previously available.
was called the material of a thousand uses, it's amazing to actually realise what was achieved and moulded out of the product.
Bakelite was waterproof,had a high resistance to electricity,was impervious and above all did not melt. It was widely used
in both world wars.
1909 Original patent granted.
1910 Formation of the General Bakelite Company.
1910 Thomas Edison selected Bakelite for making
1912 Bakelite was laminated with cloth,from this process
developed Micarta and the Formica company.
Most shellac was replaced by Bakelite.
1920's The first Bakelite radio cabinets made their
appearance in Britain.
Baekeland's original patent expired,he moved swiftly
and re-established his rights in the American courts
1938 Production started on the largest plastic moulding
in the world at the time...A Bakelite
further on for more details).
1939 The Bakelite Corporation as it was then
incorporated into the Union Carbide of America Co.
1944 Doctor Leo Baekeland
the "Father of Modern Plastic"
1945 The Atomic Bomb... an employee of
Corporation, Rupert Bidwell Lowe..participated in
essential work in the production
of the Atomic
Bomb. A certificate from the United States of
America War Department was awarded
to him for:
" his distinguished service on this project " which
according to the
certificate " helped to bring World
War Two to an end ". I have a copy of this award,
dated 6th August 1945 (Kindly provided by Union
Carbide soon to appear on my page dedicated to this
1989 A revival in Bakelite interest - Sothebys held a large
auction of Bakelite
objects in Amsterdam. Collectors
and enthusiasts from across Europe attended.
Union Carbide : inc.. The Atomic Bomb Certificate...
IT'S BAKELITE YOU KNOW !!!! ( WWW.BAKELITEMAN.COM )