The All Things Bakelite team wishes our American friends a Happy Independence Day. To our non American friends, we wish you a wonderful July day.

  • Hugh visits the Science History Institute for Heritage Day 
  • ATB shown during the Plastics Heritage Congress in Portugal
  • National public television update
  • NYU Tandon exhibit comes to a close
  • New Castle, Bedford and Mt. Kisco Historical Societies of New York plan screening
  • Talks resume with SPE's PlastiVan program
  • Keb' Mo' and Taj Mahal mention Leo Baekeland in new music video about plastic

Hugh attends Heritage Day
In May, Hugh attended Heritage Day at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia. During the evening reception on May 7, Edward Werner Cook, Chemistry Professor at Tunxis Community College, introduced Hugh to Institute President, Robert Anderson. He also took the opportunity to catch up with Institute Librarian, Ron Brashear, retired Institute Chemist, Bob Kenworthy, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Gary Patterson, and the Institute’s European representative from Belgium, Brigitte Van Tiggelen.

Throughout Heritage Day, Hugh attended several very impressive presentations and enjoyed excellent meals and awards ceremonies. He met and reunited with many Institute employees and distinguished attendees including Shelley Geehr, Jody Roberts, Bill Suits, Frederick "Simon" Golec and Roger Egolf.
Advertising poster in the Institute's museum
Hugh and Edward Werner Cook in front of the Bakelite display
Frederick "Simon" Golec, PhD, RAC, Brigitte Van Tiggelen, Belgian Science Historian with Hugh
Hugh presents ATB in Portugal
On May 30, the educational version of ATB was shown at the Museu de Leiria, Portugal. The movie was part of a four-day program of the Plastics Heritage Congress entitled, “History, Limits and Possibilities” presented by The Portuguese Centre for the History of Science and Technology under the aegis of The Plastics Heritage European Association. 200+ international curators, conservators and educators in plastics attended.
Competitors in the poster session
The keynote speaker was Jeffrey Meikle, Professor of History at the University of Texas, Austin, who appears in our film. During the pre-show luncheon, Hugh and his wife Sherry enjoyed conversation with Jeffrey and his wife, Alice.
Hugh and Jeffrey Meikle
Hugh also met Richard Schoevaart from Amsterdam, The Netherlands and caught up with Dr. Susan Mossman, Senior Exhibitions Manager at the Science Museum, London and Colin Williamson, representing the Plastics Historical Society, Great Britain.

Hugh enjoyed a brief conversation with Alice Hansen, Conservation and Research Department at Fondazione Plart, Naples, Italy. He was happy to reunite briefly with co-chair of the Congress, Dr. Guenter Lattermann, Macromolecular Chemist and Professor at University of Beyreuth, Germany.
Dr. Susan Mossman and Colin Williamson

Alice Hansen and Hugh
Audience for ATB at Museu de Leiria

Following the Q & A, Hugh had a nice talk with Tiago Guimaraes Coelho, from materials and equipment supplier, Augusto, Guimaraes & Irmao. AGI co-sponsored the Congress. Tiago’s great grandfather started the company.
After the event, the audience was invited to tour the museum’s excellent Plastics exhibition.
Early Mold
During the reception, one of the highlights was a plastic beach display.
plastic beach pic 2

Back in Lisbon, another reception was held in an ancient enclosed water reservoir high on one of the city's many hills.
The Congress was skillfully organized by Maria Elvira Callapez Callapez.
Hugh, Sherry, Elvira and her husband Joao

Hugh had the great honor to meet University of Lisbon retired Professor Raquel Concalves Maia, Phd who wrote a book about Leo Baekeland, only available in Portuguese at this time.
Elvira, Sherry, Hugh and Raquel
Hugh and Sherry thank Elvira and Joao for their kind assistance and hospitality. Hugh is grateful to the Congress’ organizing team, especially Sara Marques da Cruz, Research Fellow, for creating such a wonderful experience.
Sara and Hugh
Latest news on public television airings
Since the April release of ATB to public television, our station relations and publicity team have had exceptional results. We are grateful for their commitment and enthusiasm for the project.
Of particular interest to us is the Maryland Public Television showing on August 14 at 10pm. Check your local listings.
Our publicist will be promoting this in the DC area by contacting local press, suggesting articles and interviews with persons connected to the Baekeland and Bakelite story. The Smithsonian, Johns Hopkins University, and American Chemical Society are on the list.

Wrapping up the Dibner Library exhibit

The exhibit at the Bern Dibner Library at NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn was dismantled at the end of its successful March to June run. Hugh and Marc, along with Piedad Ceballos (wife of Jorge Caicedo, featured in our film) packed up the items, including the beautifully printed and mounted posters.

We are deeply grateful to Lindsay Anderberg, Poly Archivist for her generous hospitality, and the help from Zoe Blecher-Cohen, Poly Archives Graduate Assistant.
The Library exhibit items will be saved for mounting at future exhibitions in other venues. We are in planning stages with the Yonkers Historical Society, to build an exhibit to accompany the screening of our film in Yonkers, NY this fall.  
ATB screening planned for Northern Westchester County
After hearing about our screening at the Darien Historical Society in January, Cassie Ward, Executive Director of the New Castle Historical Society/Horace Greeley House in Chappaqua, NY contacted us and is presently organizing a screening of the film for this fall.

Her thought was to collaborate with the Bedford and Mt. Kisco Historical Societies. After meeting with the board, it was decided that all three will promote the event. We are planning to show the film at the Bedford Playhouse in Bedford, NY. Details to be announced.

Thanks to Cassie for reaching out to us.

Talks progress with Eve Vitale from the Society of Plastics Engineers

We’re happy communication resumed with Chief Executive, SPE Foundation Eve Vitale, regarding our film being included in their PlastiVan Program.

As stated on their website:
Through lively demonstrations and hands-on activities, the PlastiVan® Program is designed to excite students about opportunities in science and engineering within the plastics industry. Students are educated about the chemistry, history, processing, manufacturing, and sustainability of plastics and how the science and real-world applications relate to their everyday lives. PlastiVan® provides sound science and educational programs which spark scientific curiosity in students while increasing their knowledge of the contribution plastics make to modern life; encouraging them to seek careers in engineering.

We look forward to continuing the conversation with Eve.
Keb' Mo' with Taj Mahal music video

We’re thrilled that Keb' Mo' and Taj Mahal's new music video 'Don't Throw It Away' acknowledges Leo Baekeland.

We're grateful for their participation in the global movement to stop plastic pollution.
All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic
Official Trailer
All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic
Official Trailer with Open Captioning