BAKELITE, LEO BAEKELAND & THE LEGACY OF PLASTICS – A Panel Conversation
- This event has passed.
November 17, 2021 • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pmFREE
In 1907, a Belgian chemist working in his laboratory in Yonkers, NY worked to create a new synthetic, moldable resin by exposing a combination of phenol and formaldehyde to pressure and heat. EUREKA! This determined scientist, Leo Baekeland, called his invention Bakelite launching him on a career trajectory that would put him on the cover of TIME Magazine and earn him the soubriquet of “The Father of the Plastics Industry.” Baekeland’s groundbreaking creation, perhaps best remembered for its use in colorful costume jewelry and accessories, transformed our world and has also endangered it. This panel conversation will examine Bakelite, Leo Baekeland, and the legacy of plastics.
Featured panelists include:
– Dr. Joris Mercelis, assistant professor in the Department of History of Science and Technology at Johns Hopkins University and author of BEYOND BAKELITE: Leo Baekeland and the Business of Science and Invention.
– Hugh Karraker, great-grandson of Leo Baekeland and Executive Producer of the documentary ALL THINGS BAKELITE: The Age of Plastic.
– Bud Mikhitarian, award-winning author and filmmaker, currently doing research on Leo Baekeland and his journals.
– Our Moderator: Dr. Jeffrey L. Meikle, Professor of American Studies at University of Texas at Austin, author of American Plastic: A Cultural History.
FREE virtual event, but donations are gratefully accepted. REGISTER HERE.
Copies of Beyond Bakelite signed by the author are available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store; proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will be shipped after the event. We regret that we are NOT able to ship books outside the United States as it is cost-prohibitive to do so.
Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign and its Travelers Arts Impact Grant program, with major support from The Travelers Foundation. For more information call 860-247-0998 or visit marktwainhouse.org