What are Plastics?

Two Natural Plastics: Tortoiseshell and Horn


Tortoiseshell and horn are referred to as ‘natural plastics’. Their thermoplastic properties allow them, when heated, to be worked, stamped, pressed or refashioned, retaining the desired shape on cooling. They have long been recognised as [...]

Parkesine & Celluloid: From Britain To America


British-born Alexander Parkes, 1813 -1890, developed the semi-synthetic plastic, Parkesine, based on cellulose nitrate, in the 1850s. Parkesine, made from a mixture of cotton fibres or cotton flock and nitric acid, was the forerunner of [...]

Diatite: the First Name in Thermoplastics


Diatite: the First Name in Thermoplastics G. Marshall Naul Retired plastics development engineer On December 15th 1868 United States patent number 85018 was issued to John J. Merrick Jr. for “Improved material for manufacture of [...]