One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An early form of brittle plastic, typically dark brown, made from formaldehyde and phenol, used chiefly for electrical equipment.as modifier ‘an old Bakelite telephone’
- ‘The first synthetic polymer produced by a condensation reaction was Bakelite.’
- ‘Also, items made of the wartime plastic-like Bakelite material had passed the underwater test of time in very good condition.’
- ‘The first synthetic polymer, called Bakelite (a polymer made from phenol and formaldehyde) was invented by Leo Baekeland in 1907.’
- ‘For example, the major raw material of Bakelite is coal tar, which was a waste product from the making of coke from coal.’
- ‘He is, after all, talking into a heavy, black, old, Bakelite telephone handset, with a thick coiled cord leading into his pocket.’
Early 20th century: named after Leo H. Baekeland (1863–1944), the Belgian-born American chemist who invented it, + -ite.
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