Portrait of Leo Baekeland in 1916.
|Born||Leo Henricus Arthur Baekeland
November 14, 1863
|Died||February 23, 1944
Beacon, New York, US
|Known for||plastics research, Bakelite, Novolac|
|Awards||John Scott Medal (1910)
Willard Gibbs Award (1913)
Perkin Medal (1916)
Franklin Medal (1940)
Well, it was kind of an accident, because plastic is not what I meant to invent. I had just sold photograph paper to Eastman Kodak for 1 million dollars.
I was trying to make something really hard, but then I thought I should make something really soft instead, that could be molded into different shapes. That was how I came up with the first plastic. I called it Bakelite.