Newsletter Spring 2019
  • ATB Airing on Connecticut Public Television and NYC-TV in April
  • Baekeland Commemorative Medallion Manufacture Underway
  • Exhibit and Screening at NYU Tandon School of Engineering
  • DVD Sales Update
The television premiere of "All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic" will be on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV Spirit) Thursday, April 4th at 8 pm. 

We feel CPTV Spirit is a perfect fit for our film. To quote their publicity: CPTV Spirit is "...a new channel created to help people explore their passions." "...for the 'doers,' 'makers,' and 'adventurers' who crave more action, edgier journalism and documentaries, and more active ways to feed their curiosity." "CPTV Spirit follows the mantra that 'Life's an Adventure,' while embracing the weirder, wilder, edgier, sometimes nerdier, action-oriented programming available today." "Spirt programs maintain our trademark PBS values of curiosity, community, and the celebration of all aspects of individuality." 

A second airing is Earth Day, Monday, April 22nd at 11 PM on  NYC-TV/Channel 25

Please share these dates with your colleagues, friends and family. 
If you have contacts in the CT/NYC area, please introduce us.

Having made submissions to 140 stations nationwide on January 10th, 55 have responded positively so far. Going forward, ATB will continue to be available to U.S. public television stations beginning April 1st through the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA).  As stipulated in our contract with NETA, after the first showing, stations have rights to air the film throughout the year. 

By way of documentary filmmaker, Olympia Stone, we were introduced to NETA. Many thanks to Olympia for the referral. We thank Gayle Loeber, Vice President, Content at NETA and her team for handling the film's submission process so graciously. Gayle's continuing support is deeply appreciated.

To promote the film to station programmers, we are extremely fortunate to have engaged public television veterans Alan Foster and Dan Everett at Executive Program Services (EPS), and for publicity, the brilliant Susan Hellman at Hellman Communications.  Thank you Al, Dan and Susan for giving ATB such a wonderful send off. We deeply appreciate their continuing combined  efforts to get our film on the air at stations around the country.  Recently, John, Marc and Hugh sent follow-up postcards to the station programmers, hoping to help them see the value our film brings. (See postcard below.)

As more airings are confirmed, we will post them in future newsletters, on social media and on our website.

nyu Exhibit and Screening at
NYU Tandon School of Engineering

The Bern Dibner Library at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, features an exhibit on Bakelite and Baekeland showing through June 30 th
Lindsay Anderberg

Several years ago Lindsay Anderberg, Interdisciplinary Librarian of Science & Technology and Hugh talked about an exhibit and a possible donation of items from Leo Baekeland's laboratory to the Library's collection. Subsequently, on November 29, 2017, ATB was shown in the Pfizer Auditorium and Hugh donated 5 items to the Library.

Hugh, Marc, Lindsay and Zoe

We thank Lindsay Anderberg for her excellent leadership as curator of the exhibition. We also thank Zoe Blecher-Cohen for her invaluable assistance with the installation and for creating the Exhibit Guide.

By using the guide, viewers can identify photographs from the Baekeland family archives; pool balls and electrical parts from Hugh's collection; vintage Bakelite advertisements courtesy of Reindert Groot, owner of the Amsterdam Bakelite Collection; vintage and contemporary Bakelite jewelry from Jorge Caicedo, who appears in the film; contemporary automobile parts from the Sumitomo/Bakelite facility in Manchester, Connecticut and several items from the Library's collection including the donated laboratory equipment.


Exhibit. Photo: Piedad Ceballos

Bakelite products including dice and pool balls. Photo: Piedad Ceballos

Bakelite Products. Photo: Piedad Ceballos

Laboratory Glassware

Bakelite Jewelry

Monitor located on the opposite wall from the exhibit

We are grateful to Scott Broussard, IT Services Administrator, for putting the film's trailer on the Library monitors. We have put subtitles on the trailer as sound is not permitted in the library.  (See trailer with subtitles at the end of this newsletter.)

Please note, the library is only accessible in person to the NYU community, but you can view the exhibit virtually using the Guide above.

nyu2 ATB Screening in Pfizer Auditorium, 
NYU Tandon School of Engineering

On March 1 st, we showed All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic, again in the Pfizer Auditorium to student members of SAMPE (The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering).  It was attended by a small group of SAMPE students and Piedad Ceballos wife of Jorge Caicedo, who appears in the film. Dr. Burk Wagner, appearing in the film, came from Basking Ridge, N.J. to participate on the Q&A panel with Director, John Maher and Executive Producer, Hugh Karraker. 

John with Lilly and Kaylee, Burk with Shayan Kahn

Thoughtful questions were answered and conversation continued in the hallway afterwards where free food was offered. Then the whole group went up to the Library to view the exhibit.

Lilly Gotlieb, John, Kaylee Dunnigan, Hugh and Burk

We thank Kaylee Alyssa Dunnigan and her student group for organizing the screening; a week after the Library exhibit was launched.

Baekeland Commemorative Medallion Idea Becoming a Reality

A design has been selected for the commemorative medallion featuring a portrait of Leo Baekeland on the front. On the back is "The Bakelizer" and credits to the school and companies helping this idea to materialize.

The project was initiated and is being guided by ATB media manager, Marc Huberman. He diligently lined up the players and oversees the project. 

The Medallion project idea first took shape at the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Thermoset Topical Conference in Indianapolis February 2018. Our friend and colleague Russ Broome, Senior Director, Business Development at PLASTICS Industry Association introduced us to Dr. Sadhan Jana, Benjamin Franklin Goodrich Professor and Dept. of Polymer Engineering Chair at the University of Akron, to help with the design. 

Dr. Jana put us in touch with doctoral student and President of the Polymer Engineering Student Organization, Suresh Narute, who offered Mr. Leyao Wu, graduate student in the Department of Polymer Engineering, the assignment to draw up the design.  Through last fall, Leyao worked through several design iterations with Marc and presented his winning design in December. We thank Russ, Dr. Jana, and Suresh; with special thanks to Leyao for his excellent work. 
Also, at the Indianapolis Conference last year, we met Kirk Kuhlman, Project Manager at WesTool Corporation, a full-service mold building and repair facility, located in Temperance, Michigan. They serve the automotive, heavy truck, aerospace, agriculture and marine as well as other industries.  Upon hearing our plans, Kirk ran it by Owner/President Greg West, who supported the idea 100%.
Hearing that we needed raw material to manufacture the medallion, Dr. Louis Pilato, who appears in the film, introduced Marc to Ghent, Belgium-based Hendrik de Keyser, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer at Vyncolit N.V., a division of Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd, 
that produces reinforced plastic compounds. 

In true Belgian spirit, Hendrik offered to provide the raw material. It was determined that each medallion will require approximately one pound of material to manufacture. We intend to make 300 medallions this first run. Details on manufacturing are being worked out. They will either be fabricated at WesTool or University of Akron.

As of this writing, Kirk is in the process of running test samples, looking at which variation of thermoset will work best for this application. Once decided, Marc will inquire about which color options are available for this particular mold.
The medallion will be given out as a keepsake and as a thank you gift at screenings and other events around the world.

Hugh will present ATB FILM during PLASTICS HERITAGE CONGRESS, May 30, 2019

Hugh will present the 21-minute version of ATB during the Plastics Heritage Congress taking place in Lisbon, Portugal on May 30th .

Prof. Jeffrey Meikle of the University of Texas, who appears in ATB will be the Keynote Speaker at the conference.

purchaseWorldwide requests for  All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic DVD box set

The box set includes the 59 minute full-length version and a 21 minute version for educational purposes on disc one.  Disc two contains 31 minutes of post-production interviews.  

The films are for home, the classroom, or for private showings.  If you wish to show either movie in a public venue, please contact us at . We will provide you with a ProRes file of the movie on a thumb drive for downloading to a laptop or computer.  Additional screening options to consider are meet/greet with the filmmakers, Q&A panel of specialists in the field and a display of Baekeland family heirlooms and Bakelite items, old and new. 

The two DVD box set of ATB is being purchased by:
  • professors at educational institutions
  • chemical and plastics companies/organizations
  • libraries and museums
  • artists and collectors
  • designers and historians
  • environmentalists
Order your copy today!

Official Trailer and Trailer with subtitles


ATB Trailer-Captioned