The Pre-Plastic Era - Not So Long Ago
The next time you watch an old B&W movie,
notice the absence of plastic items. Metal, wood, fabric and glass were the materials of the era. It wasn't until
after WWII, in "The Synthetic 50s," that plastics began assuming what would become a ubiquitous presence in
everyday life. The first man-made plastic -- called Parkesine -- was created by Alexander Parkes who first
publicly demonstrated it at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London. Cellophane was invented 1908, PVC
was patented in 1913, Teflon in 1938 (kept secret by the military until the early 60s), nylon in 1939, and
Styrofoam® in 1954.