Grinton I. Will Library
1500 Central Park Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10708
Saturday, November 12, 2022
The two-hour program will honor one of Yonker’s most famous residents, Leo H. Baekeland. In 1907, in his laboratory at Snug Rock over-looking the Hudson River, the Belgian born American chemist and entrepreneur created mankind’s first synthetic plastic. He called it Bakelite, and it changed the world forever. Bakelite was integral to the beginning of the modern Industrial Age.
This special event will include a screening of the award-winning feature documentary, All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the audience.
History comes alive with reenactments of Baekeland’s life, rare archival footage, photographs and personal journal entries. Interviews with scientists, historians, professors, artists, as well as satirical musical performances, capture both the wonder and the curse of Baekeland’s discovery. While the film celebrates Baekeland, his invention and its descendants, it does not shy away from the global plastic problem. In the end, it offers a view into essential solutions.
On the panel will be the film’s director John Maher, phenolic resin consultant Dr. Louis Pilato, and Yonkers historian Mary Hoar. Also being honored, posthumously, will be Hugh Karraker, the great-grandson of Leo Baekeland, who was the executive producer of the film and the driving force of bringing Leo Baekeland’s little known, but important story to light. All Things Bakelite is a legacy left by both men that makes Yonkers proud.
View and/or download flyer.