In 1862 the first man-made plastic, nitrocellulose, (branded Parkesine) was created by Alexander Parkes from cellulose treated with nitric acid and a solvent. In 1868, American inventor John Wesley Hyatt developed a plastic material he named Celluloid, improving on Parkes’ invention by plasticizing the nitrocellulose with camphorso that it could be processed into finished form and used as a photographic film. True celluloid is made according to the original formula using cotton fibers, nitric acids and camphor. Vulcanite however seems to remain the most widely produced simulant, if cellulose nitrate was widely used as a Whitby Jet simulant, then very few pieces have survived, but if they do they will smell of camphor if kept within a sealed container before testing. Cellulose is only commonly used today for the production of ping-pong balls.

All search results