Karen Roberts, lohud, The Journal News, October 14, 2016
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Documentary examines the life and work of Bakelite inventor Leo Baekeland, the father of modern plastics.
Leo Hendrik Baekeland may be the most important inventor you’ve never heard of. Baekeland, who discovered the first synthetic plastic, is the subject of a new documentary, “All Things Bakelite,” featured at the Yonkers Film Festival, on Oct. 22.
The film festival, known as YoFi, runs Oct. 16-23.
Baekeland, who was born in Belgium in 1863, invented Bakelite in 1907 in a lab in Yonkers.
The substance, named after its inventor, was one of the earliest synthetic materials made from phenol and formaldehyde. At the time, it transformed modern life, being used in everything from electronics to automobiles, cookware to jewelry, even billiard balls and toothbrushes were made of Bakelite.