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Leo and Larry — Three recently told stories are brought to life…
In the spring of 2016, a remarkable piece of Baekeland/ Bakelite history was brought to our attention by the daughter of a chemist who worked for Leo Baekeland.
The chemist’s daughter, Nancy Byck Welch located Hugh Karraker, Executive Producer of All Things Bakelite and great grandson of Leo Baekeland through a Bakelite jewelry designer and Costume Jewelry Collectors International.
In three short videos with interviews from Nancy and family photographs, director, John Maher and editor, Craig Mikhitarian, tell the story of Larry Byck and “Dr. Baekeland.”
Experience this amazing and until now, unknown story in these three short video clips —
Read more about Leo >
Read more about Larry >
In this video, Hugh Karraker interviews Loretta Gardner, a former employee of the Bakelite Corporation at Bound Brook, New Jersey.
Katarina Posch on Design
Katarina Posch, who appears in our film, was a professor of design history at Pratt Institute.
John and Craig used the outtakes from her interview for the film to create a 17-minute video, in which Katarina gives a vibrant look at the design and product development inspired by Bakelite.
As reported in last fall’s Newsletter, Katarina lives in a rehab facility in her hometown, Vienna, Austria following a massive stroke. We are especially grateful to her for participating in the video’s creation.
For their guidance and support, we are grateful to Andrew Barnes, Dean at the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, John Decker, Chair of the Department of the History of Art and Design and Cindie Kehlet, Professor Math and Science department.
Katarina’s longtime friend and colleague, Guenther Grall, professor of the history of design at the University of Salzburg, Austria has requested copies of the DVD.
If you would like to purchase a DVD, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katarina’s close friend in New York City, Joseph Hoane, has reported that her ongoing educational efforts have inspired students at Pratt, as well as others who know her.
Joseph has set up a GoFundMe page that provides information and a source for financial relief for her rehabilitation expenses. If you would like to learn more about her experience and participate please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/5nah2u4k
The primary source and inspiration for this illuminating film is one of the great grandsons of Baekeland himself, Hugh Karraker, who is also the film’s executive producer. All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic is suitable for all audiences interested in the human drama that underlies history, science, business, and design—with the surprising twist that the nature of plastic reveals the nature of people.