Plastic

Plastic

1856

In 1856 British scientist Alexander Parkes created the first man-made plastic from cellulose treated with nitric acid. Trademarked as Parkesine, Parkes’ invention soon won him a bronze medal at the 1862 Industrial Exhibition in London and, as a result, he decided to ramp up production of the new material. Unfortunately, after beginning mass production of the plastic, a mixture of demand and high costs saw his company fail and, by 1868, Parkesine was no longer made.