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