People & Polymers

Many discoveries are made accidentally, whilst others result from the ideas and work of many people, often over a long period of time. However, it is sometimes a spark of genius, sometimes sheer good fortune and sometimes the dogged determination of one person who makes a success of the discovery. This is certainly true of plastics and this website gives a brief profile of many of the people who gave us these new materials.

Material Year Discovered by
NATURAL RUBBER 1839 GOODYEAR
VULCANITE 1843 HANCOCK
GUTTA-PERCHA 1843 MONTGOMERIE
SHELLAC 1856 CRITCHLOW
BOIS DURCI 1856 LEPAGE
PARKESINE 1862 PARKES
XYLONITE 1869 SPILL
CELLULOID 1870 HYATT
CELLULOID PHOTOGRAPHIC FILM 1889 GOODWIN
VISCOSE 1892 CROSS, BEVAN & BEADLE
CELLULOSE ACETATE 1894 CROSS & BEVAN
CASEIN 1903 KUNTH
BAKELITE 1907 BAEKELAND
DAMARD LACQUER 1910 SWINBURNE
POLYVINYL ACETATE 1913 KLATTE
UREA FORMALDEHYDE 1918 JOHN
POLYACRYLATES 1927 ROHM & HAAS
BEETLE THIOUREA 1928 ROSSITER
POLYSTYRENE 1929 IG FARBEN
NEOPRENE 1930 CAROTHERS
POLYESTERS & POLYAMIDES 1930 CAROTHERS
POLYMETHYL METHACRYLATE 1932 CRAWFORD - I C I
MELAMINE 1933 HENKEL
POLYVINYLCHLORIDE 1933 SEMON - B. F. GOODRICH
POLYESTER RESIN 1933 CARLTON ELLIS
POLYETHYLENE (LOW DENSITY) 1933 GIBSON & FAWCETT- ICI
POLYVINYLIDENE CHLORIDE 1933 WILEY - DOW
NYLON 66 1935 HILL - DU PONT
NYLON 6 1938 SCHLACK
PTFE 1938 PLUNKETT- DU PONT
POLYURETHANE 1939 BAYER - IG FARBEN
EPOXIDE RESIN 1939 CASTAN
POLYACRYLONITRILE 1940 DU PONT
POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE (PET) 1941 WHINFIELD AND DICKSON
SILICONES 1943 KIPPING
POLYETHYLENE (HIGH DENSITY) 1953 ZIEGLER
POLYPROPYLENE 1954 NATTA
POLYCARBONATE 1958 GENERAL ELECTRIC
POLYFORMALDEHYDE 1959 McDONALD
ETHYLENE VINYL ACETATE (EVA) 1960 DU PONT
POLYIMIDE 1962 DU PONT
POLYPHENYLENE OXIDE (PPO) 1964 GENERAL ELECTRIC
POLYSULPHONE 1965 UNION CARBIDE
     
 
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