All things bakelite

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The new documentary, All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic by John Maher, is a provocative story about the “father of modern plastics”, Leo Hendrik Baekeland. In 1907, the Belgian-born American chemist and alumnus of the Ghent University made one of the most transformative discoveries of the 20th century—the first wholly synthetic plastic, which he called Bakelite. Baekeland’s invention ushered in an explosion of new man-made materials that marked the beginnings of our modern industrial age, and changed our way of life. From original sources, including 62 of Baekeland’s personal hand-written diaries, the film explores his life, his scientific genius and his creative entrepreneurship.

The primary source and inspiration for this illuminating film is one of the great grandsons of Baekeland himself, Hugh Karraker.  “I wanted to celebrate Baekeland’s life,” Mr. Karraker said. “His invention had a huge impact on our lives, but little is generally known about him. His peers were the likes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.”

All Things Bakelite:The Age of Plastic is for all audiences interested in the human drama that underlies history, science, business, and art—and the surprising insight that the nature of plastic reveals the nature of people.

The documentary (21 minutes long, in English) is shown in a loop between 13h and 17h.

For whom

youngsters, adults


The Krook - Floor -1, De Blauwe Vogel