Home 2018-01-05T13:36:06+00:00

Welcome to The Plastics Historical Society

PHS was formed in 1986 and was first to draw attention to the heritage of the plastics industry and to celebrate all things plastic.

News & Announcements

Free Lecture in Birmingham Science Museum

‘From Parkesine to Bakelite’ by Dr Susan Mossman


Click Here For More Details

Browse the Site

History of Plastics

History of Plastics

When we talk of a substance being “plastic” (the adjective) most people would agree on its meaning, but when we turn to defining “plastics” (the noun) we have problems. Read more…

Plastics and Education

Virtual Museum

Many ancient peoples worldwide used naturally occurring plastics for a range of decorative and functional purposes. Read more…

Articles & Papers

Articles & Papers

Articles on this site are premium content restricted to registered members. Articles and papers on this website are regularly updated.. Read more…

Plastics in Society

Plastics in Society

In today’s society we have a tendency to take plastic materials for granted. In fact it is probably true that most of us cannot imagine our lives without them. Read more…

People & Poylmers

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. Read more…

PHS Library

PHS Library

The library is located at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, 297 Euston Road, London NW1 3AQ. Tel. 0207 451 7300. Read more…

Experiencing Plastics

Experiencing Plastics

Plastics differ from each other in their care needs. The exact recipe of each plastic, including its range of additives, influences how it will age. Read more…

Members Login
Members Login
Design & Manufacture

Design & Manufacture

Plastics have become major design materials of the 21st century and they are increasingly shaping the objects we use and rely on every day. Read more…

Join the PHS

Members receive regular copies of the Society’s journal Plastiquarian (published twice yearly) together with Newsletters (published four times per year) and unlimited access to the Society’s archive of articles and newsletters on this website. In addition, PHS holds an extensive library of books and other publications, all of which are available for members to see.

Membership is open to all and costs between GBP 20 and GBP 40 per year.

Join Now

Premium Content for Members

Recently added articles and newsletters.

Newcomen Midlands Public Lecture      In conjunction with Thinktank: Birmingham Science Museum   Wednesday 7th February 2018 - 7pm   Plastics - from Parkesine to Bakelite                               By Dr Susan Mossman      The Lecture [...]


Faturan Ian Holdsworth and Ibrahim Faraj undertake an investigation into a mythical material. Figure 1. Friedrich Adolf “Fritz” Traun photographed in 1907 Figure 2. String of Faturan prayer beads Try this: Search eBay for Bakelite [...]

The Amsterdam Bakelite Collection

The Amsterdam Bakelite Collection PHS member Reindert Groot, chairman of the Amsterdam Bakelite Collection on the phenomenon of how collections expand. Figure 1. Colour samples on ball chains. Figure 2. Samples on rod in display [...]

Rutland Plastics

Rutland Plastics PHS Chairman Steve Akhurst reports on Rutland Plastics. Figure 1. An early company van. Note the old format telephone number. From the smallest English county comes a story of enterprise, ingenuity and perseverance. [...]