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All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic

Thursday, March 01, 2018, 07:00pm

web Leo in LabHistory comes alive in All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic, a film by John Maher. This unique one-hour documentary is a virtual periodic table of elements that combine to create a joyous and provocative story about the “father of modern plastics.” In 1907, Leo Hendrik Baekeland, a Belgian-born American chemist, made one of the most transformative discoveries of the 20th century: Bakelite. It was the first wholly synthetic plastic and it ushered in an explosion of new man-made materials that marked the beginnings of our modern industrial age.

The film blends together beautifully realized period re-enactments of Baekeland’s life, rare archival footage, photos and journal entries, interviews with scientists, historians, and artists, and clever musical performances that capture both the wonder and the curse of Baekeland’s alchemy.

The primary source and inspiration for this illuminating film is one of the great grandsons of Baekeland himself, Hugh Karraker, who is also the film’s executive producer. All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic is suitable for all audiences interested in the human drama that underlies history, science, business, and design—with the surprising twist that the nature of plastic reveals the nature of people.

Free and open to the public. No registration required. 

This free program is offered as part of Fairfield County's Giving Day, a 24-hour online fundraiser sponsored by Fairfield County's Community Foundation. By making a minimum $10 donation on March 1, you will support the engaging and educational programs, services, exhibitions, and Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives that Pequot Library offers year-round.

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Location : Auditorium
Contact : (203) 259-0346 ext. 115