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April 23, 2019, 4:36 AM EDT

The Plastic Straw that Broke the Internet

To say the invention of plastic revolutionized manufacturing is an understatement – it literally changed our lives forever. With its roots going back hundreds of years, the development of plastic is credited to English chemist Alexander Parkes and the discovery of Parkesine (nitrocellulose), considered to be the first man-made plastic. Tied in to the evolution of photography, celluloid plates became a lighter alternative to the heavy and fragile glass plates used to capture early images.