A major collection of Bakelite, to commemorate Leo Hendrik Baekeland's invention of Bakelite in 1907, hits U.S. shores in April, after several commemorative events in Europe last year marked the 100th anniversary of the first truly synthetic plastic.
``Heat and Pressure - 100 Years of Bakelite,'' will run from April 6 to May 30 at the Mark Twain Library in Redding. The exhibition includes more than 250 rare Bakelite items and related materials from the Amsterdam Bakelite Collection, owned by Reindert Groot.
It is free and open to the public during library hours.
On April 5, at 5 p.m., a preview reception will be held, featuring a lecture by Groot, a professional photographer and film producer who lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The display is supplemented with loans from Jorge Caicedo, a New York designer. Also on display are personal Bakelite items owned by Hugh Karraker, a great-grandson of Leo Baekeland. Karraker, of Redding, has worked to publicize the invention as it hits the century mark.
Additional support was given by three industrial companies.
A native of Ghent, Belgium, Baekeland moved to New York in the 1880s. He made his famous breakthroughs in the United States.
At the Mark Twain Library, eight display cases will highlight the wide variety of Bakelite products.
Directions to the Mark Twain Library are available at www.Mark TwainLibrary.org.