The 2022 edition of the K trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany, will mark the event's 70th anniversary.
The first K was held Oct. 11-19, 1952. Show organizer Messe Düsseldorf notes that was the same year that saw Queen Elizabeth II ascend to the throne, the first artificial heart valve implanted in the U.S., and the musical Singin' in the Rain open in Hollywood.
"At that time nobody expected this event only just taking off would develop into the world's leading trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry," the organizer noted in a news release.
K in Düsseldorf started small. The debut event "Wunder der Kunststoffe" (Miracles of Plastics) included 270 exhibiting companies, all from Germany, and they occupied about 14,000 square meters of net exhibition space.
Attendance, however, was quite large. About 165,000 visitors came to the show, which was open to all, including the general public. Exhibits featured then-trendy products such as PVC raincoats and sheer nylon stockings.
Starting in 1963, the show became exclusively aimed at plastics industry visitors.
At the most recent show, in 2019, K drew more than 220,000 visitors from almost 170 countries.
K 2022 is scheduled for Oct. 19-26 at the Messe Düsseldorf fairgrounds in Germany. But before the show opens, the organizer is already celebrating its 70th anniversary with a website dedicated to seven decades of K history, with historical photos and stories.