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About 110 years ago, the plastics era (as we understand that term) began with a material called Bakelite named by its creator and inventor Leo Baekeland.
Leo Hendrick Baekeland was born on November 14, 1863, in Ghent, Belgium, to Karel and Rosalia Baekeland. His father was a cobbler while his mother worked as a housemaid. He was a bright young man who, encouraged primarily by his mother, read anything he could get his hands on.