Baekeland , Leo Hendrik
(1863–1944) Belgian–American industrial chemist
Baekeland was born in Ghent and educated at the university there, graduating in 1884. He was professor of physics and chemistry at Bruges in 1887 and returned to Ghent the next year as assistant professor of chemistry. But Baekeland grew impatient with academic life and in 1889 a honeymoon tour took him to America where he settled.
Baekeland worked at first as a photographic chemist and in 1891 he opened his own consulting laboratory. In 1893 he began to manufacture a photographic paper, which he called Velox, and six years later his company was bought out by the Kodak Corporation for one million dollars. Now financially independent, Baekeland returned to Europe to study at the Technical Institute at Charlottenburg.
On his return to America, Baekeland began to investigate, as a synthetic substitute for shellac, the phenol–formaldehyde resins discovered by Karl Baeyer in 1871. Since nothing remotely like shellac emerged, he began to look for other uses for this material. By choosing suitable reaction conditions he produced a hard amberlike resin, which could be cast and machined and which had excellent durability and electrical properties. Bakelite was finally unveiled in 1909, when Baekeland set up the General Bakelite Corporation.
In 1922 Baekeland's company merged with two rivals and in 1939 it became a subsidiary of the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation. Baekeland continued to produce scientific papers throughout this period. He received many honors and held many professional posts, including that of president of the American Chemical Society.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Baekeland,Leo Hendrik — Baeke·land (bākʹlănd ), Leo Hendrik. 1863 1944. Belgian born American chemist who developed the first plastic to harden permanently after heating. * * * …   Universalium

  • Baekeland, Leo Hendrik — ▪ American chemist born Nov. 14, 1863, Ghent died Feb. 23, 1944, Beacon, N.Y., U.S.       U.S. industrial chemist who helped found the modern plastics (plastic) industry through his invention of Bakelite, the first thermosetting plastic (a… …   Universalium

  • Baekeland, Leo (Hendrik) — born Nov. 14, 1863, Ghent, Belg. died Feb. 23, 1944, Beacon, N.Y., U.S. Belgian born U.S. industrial chemist. A teacher of chemistry in Belgium, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1889. He invented Velox, the first commercially successful photographic… …   Universalium

  • Baekeland, Leo Hendrik — ► (1863 1944) Químico belga. Fue el inventor del plástico baquelita …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Baekeland, Leo (Hendrik) — (14 nov. 1863, Gante, Bélgica–23 feb. 1944, Beacon, N.Y., EE.UU.). Químico industrial estadounidense nacido en Bélgica. Fue profesor de química en Bélgica y emigró a EE.UU. en 1889. Inventó el Velox, el primer papel fotográfico comercialmente… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Baekeland, Leo Hendrik —  (1863–1944) Belgian born American chemist who invented Bakelite …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Leo Hendrik Baekeland — Leo Hendrik Baekeland. Leo Hendrik Baekeland (* 14. November 1863 in Gent; † 23. Februar 1944 in Beacon, New York) war ein belgisch amerikanischer Chemiker und Erfinder. Baekeland entwickelte in den Jahren 1905 bis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leo Hendrik Baekeland — Leo Baekeland Leo Baekeland Leo Hendrik Baekeland, né en 1863 à Gand et mort en 1944, est un chimiste belge, connu pour ses recherches en photographie et sur les matières plastiques. Biogra …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Leo Hendrik Baekeland — (Gante, 14 de noviembre de 1863 – Beacon, Nueva York, 23 de febrero de 1944) fue un químico de origen belga, que desarrolló entre otros inventos la baquelita y el papel fotográfico Velox. Baekeland recibió el título en Química en la universidad… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Baekeland — Leo Hendrik …   Scientists

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