Scientific Serendipity


Plastic the material of a thousand uses the blessing and curse of our modern world. All the conveniences you could wish for was udalls of monkey's paw style consequences substances that could be classified as plastics have been in use for thousands of years from rubber balls made from tree sap in central america to the protective coating shellac which is made from the secretions of the lack beetle. They did their jobs. But you know not great. The raw materials were usually difficult to obtain or process which meant they were expensive so the products made from them were rare and only accessible to a select few tended to have short useful lives or were susceptible to temperature changes and humidity the industrial revolution. You may have heard of it. It was in all the papers created huge demand for new materials both natural and synthetic like celluloid made from plant cellulose and camphor and galileo if made of milk protein and formaldehyde then along came belgian chemist leo bake land in nineteen o seven bake land. Already had a wildly successful product under his belt the first fiber based photographic paper and he was on a mission to create a replacement for shellac. Shellac requires going to the trees where swarms of little red lack beatles are laying eggs and sucking sap until they burst. I'm barely being hyperbolic here. Indigenous people call it the feast of death as the beatles. Excrete the leavings of the sap. It forms a coating over the entire swarm which is scraped up bugs and all and taken for refining in addition to obvious things like woodworking. Shellac is also used even in the modern day in candy making so my vegan kosher and halal friends. Beware in bacon attempt to improve upon nature. He heated a mixture of formaldehyde and phenyle or coal tar a waste product which will appear in the script later rather than making a lacquer he inadvertently created a polymer that didn't melt under heat and stress. He applied for a patent for his new compound. Poly oxy benzyl methyl and glide colon hydride and yes. I got that in one take not i take but still one take that counts or your voice over services today at moxie bouche dot com bake bacon. Humbly named this new product bake lite. This new thermo setting plastic went like a house on fire. It could be and was used for everything from phones to dinner plates to toys to jewelry it was also a boon to the emerging on and electrical industries because it was an effective insulator apart from being the first proper modern plastic it is also the first synthetic material to lean into being a synthetic material rather than trying to look or act like a natural product it was lightweight durable and could be molded into nearly any shape. You could think of in nearly any color or pattern you wanted. It also looked sleek and modern the apple aesthetic of its day bake lite introduced plastics to the fashion world to be followed by nylon polyester spandex. Send more these. Plastics have inspired fashion designers to do more with less more choices creativity and durability with less material. wait wrinkles and expense

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